UK hospitals report tech problems in possible cyberattack


Those organisations affected include East and North Hertfordshire, which said in a statement that it had experienced "a major IT problem" that was believed to be a cyber attack, and that it had responded by shutting down all its IT systems to protect it.

A spokesman for NHS England said there was "an issue with IT", but referred further inquiries to NHS Digital, which did not immediately comment.

Wanna Decryptor, the apparent malware variant hitting NHS computers, was first discovered in the wild in February of this year.

An NHS IT employee told the Guardian a message appeared on the screens of infected computers demanding users pay $300 in bitcoin in able to regain access to the machines.

An NHS spokeswoman has confirmed that no patient data was believed to have been taken in the cyber attack that left hospitals telling people to stay away from A&E.

But those attacks - blamed on Russian Federation, which has repeatedly denied them - followed an entirely different modus operandi involving penetrating the accounts of individuals and political organizations and then releasing hacked material online. People are being advised to avoid going to emergency rooms for the time being.

"Scottish Government health officials are now working closely with affected boards to assess the extent of the problem, and take steps to isolate affected systems, which have been affected by a Ransomware cyber-attack of the kind which has also affected health trusts in NHS England".

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Some Russian media also have reported cyberattacks on the Interior Ministry and the Investigative Committee.

A massive ransomware campaign appears to have attacked a number of organisations around the world. Routine appointments were being canceled.

The ransomware uses an vulnerability on Microsoft's older systems. "It suggests that the group is increasing the ransom demands", an analysis by Kaspersky researchers says. Andy Wool, Foursys's marketing director, said it wasn't a targeted attack on the NHS, but an exploit against their system's vulnerability. Hacks have disrupted services provided by hospitals, police departments, public transportation systems and utilities in the United States and Europe.

The cyber attack had not affected the provision of the companies' services or the operation of their networks and the national cybersecurity institute was working to resolve it as soon as possible, the Spanish government said in a statement.

The National Cyber Security Centre said in a tweet that it was aware of "cyber incident" and was working with the National Crime Agency and NHS Digital to investigate.

Health officials offered no indication of when services might return to normal, or whether patient records could be permanently lost to the attack.

The news is also likely to embolden cyber extortionists when selecting targets, Chris Camacho, chief strategy officer with cyber intelligence firm Flashpoint, said.