Published: Thu, May 18, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Grace Becker

Britain relieved no 'second spike' in cyber worm attacks

Britain relieved no 'second spike' in cyber worm attacks

Accident and emergency units in England were almost back to normal, the National Health Service (NHS) said, after the last restrictions put in place following the global cyberattack were lifted.

Liz Capp-Gray, acting director of health informatics at Medway Foundation Trust, said: "I can confirm that we have not, so far, been directly targeted by the WannaCry ransomware attack".

Governments and businesses across the world braced for new ransomware attacks on Monday after cyber security experts warned that malware could be activated as computers are turned on following the weekend.

A hooded man holds a laptop computer as blue screen with an exclamation mark is projected on him in this illustration picture taken on May 13, 2017.

But speaking publicly for the first time since the cyberattack, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said that "according to the latest intelligence we have not seen a second wave of attacks".

Rudd was speaking after chairing a meeting in Whitehall, London, of the government's main emergency committee, known as Cobra.

After locking down the files, "WannaCry" pops open a window demanding the user to pay an initial ransom of around 300 United States dollars worth of Bitcoin to regain control of their computer.

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Labour has accused the Government of a "chaotic" response, and claimed cuts had left hospitals "wide open" to being compromised.

The ransomware attack has been described as the largest-ever of its kind. The bureau had raised its cyber security of critical infrastructure, government departments and key businesses, it added.

"Small business owners should be pro-active about their cyber security in the wake of this ransomware campaign affecting computers around the world", Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Cyber Security Dan Tehan said in an after hours statement.

Asked if warnings had been ignored, Mrs May said: "No".

Seven of the 48 trusts hit still face serious issues, but patients may still show up for their medical appointments. The Telegraph suggested that 90 percent of NHS trusts were using a 16 year old version of Windows XP which was particularly vulnerable to the attack.

On Monday NHS Digital said it had posted a patch to prevent such an attack on 25 April and that the WannaCry incident would have been prevented if all NHS organizations had installed the patch on their systems.

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