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English hospitals divert ambulances after ‘ransomware’ cyber attack

No patient data was believed to have been accessed by the ransomware attack but it was unclear whether it had impacted any emergency cases.

By: Reuters | London | Updated: May 16, 2017 10:45 am
british hospital, cyber attack, uk hospital, cyber attack at hospital, national cyber attack, world news, latest news No patient data was believed to have been accessed by the ransomware attack but it was unclear whether it had impacted any emergency cases.

Hospitals and doctors’ surgeries across England were forced to turn away patients and cancel appointments on Friday after a nationwide ‘ransomware’ cyber attack which crippled some computer systems in the state-run health service. The National Health Service (NHS) said 16 organisations had been affected by the cyber attack but added it had not been specifically targeted. No patient data was believed to have been accessed by the ransomware attack but it was unclear whether it had impacted any emergency cases.

“The investigation is at an early stage but we believe the malware variant is Wanna Decryptor,” NHS Digital, the computer arm of the English health service, said in a statement. “This attack was not specifically targeted at the NHS and is affecting organisations from across a range of sectors.” Britain’s National Cyber Security Centre, part of the GCHQ spy agency, said it was aware of a cyber incident and was working with NHS Digital and the police to investigate.

Hospitals across England reported the cyber attack was causing huge problems to their services and the public in areas affected were being advised to only seek medical care for emergencies. A reporter from the Health Service Journal said the attack had affected X-ray imaging systems, pathology test results, phone systems and patient administration systems. The Barts Health group, which manages major central London hospitals including The Royal London and St Bartholomew’s, said it had activated a major incident plan and had cancelled routine appointments.

“We are experiencing a major IT disruption and there are delays at all of our hospitals,” it said. “Ambulances are being diverted to neighbouring hospitals.” There was no immediate comment from the Health Ministry or from Prime Minister Theresa May who was out campaigning in northeast England ahead of a general election next month.

Earlier on Friday, Spain’s government warned that a large number of companies had been attacked by cyber criminals who infected computers with ransomware that locks up computers and demands ransoms to restore access. (Additional reporting by Kate Holton, Andy Bruce, Michael Holden and David Milliken; Writing by Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Stephen Addison)

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  1. Dhann Daulat Shohrat
    May 13, 2017 at 10:04 am
    What is so weird is that these tools were developed by the NSA from "us". First of all, the word "us" denotes us. Please use "USA" in your reports, and be aware that none of "us" is running any NSA. Much shame on the reporters for choosing wrong words, I am just wondering who choose them in the first place. Again I am aghast at the others too in the media, just doing COPY & PASTE jobs. Windows OS has been under different stages of development, so blame yourself for not upgrading your IT systems in time. Further, none of us have come across anyone dea in any virtual currencies (????), However I have seen & traded with the currency from "Children Bank of India" for gaming in virtual reality. It appears as if the Main headline news has always been FAKE since inception to create m hypnosis, mind control & cause distress to others. So use your own discretion while floating such ic & stupid news, and use journalism for good causes.
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      Surya Devan
      May 13, 2017 at 8:18 am
      This is good news. It means there is life in England.
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      1. Dhann Daulat Shohrat
        May 13, 2017 at 10:06 am
        There was life in England, once upon a time. Now the world there too has gone virtual with globalization.
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