Tuesday, 25 September, 2018

London doctor warned against UK health service cyber hack

London doctor warned against UK health service cyber hack London doctor warned against UK health service cyber hack
Kayla Schwartz | 14 May, 2017, 15:06

SINGAPORE/FRANKFURT, May 13 (Reuters) - A global cyber attack forced a European carmaker to halt some production lines, hit Russian computers with more than half of suspected infections, struck schools in China and hospitals in Indonesia, though it appeared to be dying down on Saturday.

Sixteen National Health Service organizations in the United Kingdom were hit, and some of those hospitals canceled outpatient appointments and told people to avoid emergency departments if possible.

Thousands of users, businesses, and government agencies have been hit by the ransomware which took advantage of a security hole in Microsoft Windows.

On Saturday, experts said it appeared that the ransomware had made just over $20,000, although they expected that number to pop when people went back into the office Monday.

British Home Secretary Amber Rudd - who was chairing a government emergency security meeting Saturday in response to the attack - said 45 public health organizations were hit, though she stressed that no patient data had been stolen.

Spain's Telefonica was among the companies hit.

"This is a virus that attacked Windows platforms".

European police agency Europol said it was working to support countries, saying the malware attack was at an "unprecedented level and requires worldwide investigation".

"We see all the finger-pointing at the usual suspects, saying it's probably people in Russian Federation or China, but, to quote Sherlock Holmes, it's not really a good idea to guess without the evidence", Gazeley said.

"I don't believe it will have been a targeted attack, but will simply have been that the ransomware has sought out those organizations that are running susceptible devices", he said.

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Richard Burr, R-N.C., chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and Sen. " Nothing will change by virtue of Director Comey's termination ".

It was not yet known who perpetrated Friday's attacks.

In Britain, the National Cyber Security Center said it is "working round the clock" with experts to restore vital health services.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security said it was sharing information with domestic and foreign partners and was ready to lend technical support.

And although Microsoft issued a security patch for the vulnerabilities in March, it seems hackers have now used the tools to attack computers which have not been fixed since or are too old to be protected.

Some said the attacks highlighted the need for agencies like the NSA to disclose security flaws so they can be patched.

LONDON — The cyberattack that spread malicious software around the world, shutting down networks at hospitals, banks and government agencies, was stemmed by a young British researcher and an cheap domain registration, with help from another 20-something security engineer in the U.S.

The attacks used ransomware, which locks users' files unless they pay the attackers a designated sum in the virtual Bitcoin currency.

South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported a university hospital had been affected, while a communications official in Indonesia said two hospitals there had been affected.

British media had reported previous year that most public health organizations were using an outdated version of Microsoft Windows that was not equipped with security updates. Radio Slovenia said Saturday the Revoz factory in the southeastern town of Novo Mesto stopped working Friday evening to stop the malware from spreading.

Speaking in Dublin, Mr Naughten said the fact there has not been a successful attack so far in Ireland is down to luck in some instances but also proactive work by agencies including the HSE.

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