UK working to restore hospital systems after cyberattack
- Daisy Evans
In Britain, the National Cyber Security Center says it is "working round the clock" with experts to restore vital health services.
Kaspersky Lab, a Moscow-based Internet security firm, also said that the attacks were mostly in Russian Federation. It may have saved governments and companies millions of dollars and slowed the outbreak before US -based computers were more widely infected.
Why is it certain regions are affected more than others? "We are implementing remediation steps as quickly as possible".
In Britain, which is in the middle of an election campaign, the cyberattack triggered criticism about the NHS's aging computer systems. They asked patients not to come to the hospitals unless it was an emergency.
Power firm Iberdrola and utility provider Gas Natural were also reported to have been affected by the attack.
Similar widespread attacks have been reported in Spain and other countries. Hospitals, with their often outdated IT systems and trove of confidential patient data, are a particularly tempting target.
Britain's National Health Service said hospitals were hit by an apparent "ransomware" attack, but there was no immediate evidence that patient data had been accessed. The national railway system said although it was attacked, rail operations were unaffected.
Pictures posted on social media showed screens of NHS computers with images demanding payment of $300 worth of the online currency Bitcoin, saying: "Ooops, your files have been encrypted!"
Alan Woodward, visiting professor of computing at the University of Surrey, said there was evidence the ransomware was spreading using a Microsoft flaw exposed in a recent leak of information from USA intelligence agencies.
"A lot of hospital trusts in the United Kingdom - 40-plus last time I checked - are running their systems on Windows XP software, which hasn't been supported by Microsoft for two or three years", he said.
The minister said lessons had to be learned from the attack.
Computer users worldwide - and everyone else who depends on them - should assume that the next big "ransomware" attack has already been launched, and just hasn't manifested itself yet, Ori Eisen, who founded the Trusona cybersecurity firm in Scottsdale, Arizona, told The Associated Press.
Payment is demanded within three days or the price is doubled, and if none is received within seven days the files will be deleted, according to the screen message.
The attack was not specifically targeted at the NHS and was "affecting organizations from across a range of sectors", the statement said. It initially said 16 NHS organizations had reported being hit, and more reports came in as the day went on.
Spain has activated a special protocol to protect critical infrastructure in response to the "massive infection" of personal and corporate computers targeted in ransomware cyberattacks.
The BBC reports that experts have linked the attacks to vulnerabilities released by a group known as The Shadow Brokers.
This malware is being sent through emailing in the form of encrypted compressed file.
Spain's Telefonica was among the companies hit. The attack froze computers at hospitals across the country, with some cancelling all routine procedures.
Patrick Ward, a 47-year-old sales director, said his heart operation, which was scheduled for Friday, was cancelled at St. Bartholomew's Hospital in London.
"It's an global attack and a number of countries and organizations have been affected", she said. "It's stressful enough for someone going through recovery or treatment for cancer".
NHS Digital, the National Health Service's information technology unit, said it would be working with Britain's National Cyber Security Center in efforts to resolve the failure.
Doctors were using pen and paper as the National Health Service struggled to get computers back online.
Former assistant attorney general for national security John Carlin joins Hari Sreenivasan for more on the attack.disabled3000869520zrSXZxrFf6Efalse215836215844http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/world-powers-look-djibouti-trade-military-access/World powers look to Djibouti for trade, military accessDjibouti, a tiny country in Northeast Africa, is situated at the gateway to the Suez Canal, one of the world's busiest shipping routes.
In 2016, Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Centre in California said it had paid a 17,000 dollars ransom to regain control of its computers from hackers.
Actually, the virus has hacked the British Public Health System.
Though 45 health service organisations in England and Scotland were affected by malicious software, no patient data has been accessed or transferred, said Rudd.
"Today, it happened to 10,000 computers", Eisen said.
"I would expect NHS trusts to learn from this and to make sure that they do upgrade", she said. "That was a shock".
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