Published: Fri, May 19, 2017
Money | By Armando Alvarado

Services return to normal after cyber-attack at the weekend


On Friday, a major cyber attack - which is still ongoing - caused major disruption across the National Health Service.

In a statement it said: "East Kent Hospitals unaffected by yesterday's cyber attack".

After concerns were reported about three hospitals, cyber security analysts said an older virus had been found.

Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer at the Helsinki-based cyber security company F-Secure, told AFP that the attack was "the biggest ransomware outbreak in history", saying that 130,000 systems in more than 100 countries had been affected.

Britain's National Crime Agency, which tackles serious and organised crime, said it had not seen a second round of cyber attacks on Monday as experts had feared.

"We are largely business as usual today but there is still some work left to do to restore things fully, including continuing to enhance and review our systems and processes to ensure we remain strong against such attacks". A spokesman for May said the annual information technology budget in the NHS was 4.2 billion pounds and that an extra 50 million pounds had been allocated for updating cyber security.

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".

Petients have been told they can attend their GP surgeries as normal following last week's computer cyber attack - though some facilities were still seeing difficulties on Monday.

Britain worked through night to counter cyber attack on health service -minister
The number of infections has fallen dramatically since Friday's peak when more than 9000 computers were being hit per hour. But he also said the incident was a "wake-up call" for governments.

Affected bodies included a social security department in the city of Changsha, the exit-entry bureau in Dalian, a housing fund in Zhuhai and an industry watchdog in Xuzhou.

Services in as many as 45 healthcare centers, including hospitals, came to a halt when the malicious malware hit computers from midday Friday.

Officials struggled to explain why some NHS computers had not been "patched" with Microsoft updates to close the vulnerability that allowed the worm to spread across its networks. "The message is very clear, not just for organisations like the NHS (National Health Service) but for private individuals as well as businesses".

The attack was only stopped by a 22-year-old cyber whizz, who wished to stay anonymous, and who accidentally registered a domain name which shut down the attacks.

The "ransomware" cyber-attack left NHS trusts across the United Kingdom without access to IT facilities and patients records.

"These alerts included a patch to protect their systems".

Organisations around the world have spent weekend trying to recover after being hit by a virus that seeks to seize control of computers until victims pay a ransom.

"The NHS is asking patients to continue to use the NHS wisely and remember that they can seek help and advice from a range of other sources, such as pharmacies or 111".

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