NHS makes efforts to restore operations following ransomware attack

14 May 2017 (Last Updated May 14th, 2017 18:30)

The National Health Service (NHS) UK, is currently making efforts to restore the operations after its computer systems were hit by a cyber-attack called WannaDecryptor or WannaCry, which also affected 200,000 machines in 150 countries.

The National Health Service (NHS) UK, is currently making efforts to restore the operations after its computer systems were hit by a cyber-attack called WannaDecryptor or WannaCry, which also affected 200,000 machines in 150 countries.

While 47 NHS trusts reported issues at hospitals in England, 13 NHS organisations in Scotland faced the ransomware attack.

Though seven of the trusts are still facing issues, the health service has asked patients to turn up for their appointments and make use of the services according to the necessity.

NHS Incident director Dr Anne Rainsberry said: “We’d like to reassure patients that if they need the NHS and it’s an emergency, they should visit A&E or access emergency services in the same way as they normally would and staff will ensure they get the care they need.

“More widely, we ask people to use the NHS wisely while we deal with this major incident, which is still ongoing. NHS Digital are investigating the incident and across the NHS we have tried and tested contingency plans to ensure we are able to keep the NHS open for business.”

The latest virus locks the files of the users and prompts for a payment of £230 to allow access, reported BBC.

"We’d like to reassure patients that if they need the NHS and it’s an emergency, they should visit A&E or access emergency services in the same way as they normally would and staff will ensure they get the care they need."

According to MWR InfoSecurity’s attack detection and response arm Countercept, the ransomware is reported to be spreading through the SMB protocol and might be using the MS17-010 vulnerability that was linked with the Shadowbrokers exploit Eternalblue.

The treatment of many patients has been delayed or postponed since the attack on 12 May.

Law firm Mishcon de Reya cyber security expert Joe Hancock said: "Today's large-scale cyber-attack on the NHS seems to be a criminally motivated ransomware attack.

“The attack seems to have spread between interconnected systems, affecting multiple NHS trusts and providers, and impacting their operations.

"There have been recent examples of attacks affecting healthcare globally such as huge leaks of US medical records. It was therefore almost inevitable that this type of activity would cross the Atlantic at some point.

"These attacks aren't new. They are a problem for many large organisations, and hospitals often have issues with Data Protection more broadly. IT and technical systems are often not as advanced as in the private sector, making them an easy target. Simply doing the basics can prevent attacks of this type."