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British hospitals say hit by suspected national cyber attack

British hospitals say hit by suspected national cyber attack

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) said teams were "working round the clock" in response to the attack.

Russian Federation appeared to be the hardest hit, according to security experts, with the country's Interior Ministry confirming it was struck.

On the affected computer screens, the malware threatens to erase all of the computers' files if a payment of $300 in bitcoin is not made within a week.

"This is not targeted at the NHS, it's an worldwide attack and a number of countries and organisations have been affected", British Prime Minister Theresa May said yesterday. Portugal Telecom and Telefonica Argentina both said they were also targeted.

There are different variants of what happens: Other forms of ransomware execute programs that can lock your computer entirely, only showing a message to make payment in order to log in again.

It was reported that hackers known as The Shadow Brokers claimed in April to have stolen the NSA tools and released them online.

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"We are very aware that attacks on critical services such as the NHS have a massive impact on individuals and their families, and we are doing everything in our power to help them restore these vital services", he said. He confirmed that firms could apply for the patch which was released in March.

Dickson said the malware itself, which exploits a flaw in Windows, was not new but that adding the ransomware "payload" made it especially risky.

WannaCry is not just a ransomware program, it's also a worm.

Britain's National Cyber Security Centre and its National Crime Agency were looking into the United Kingdom incidents, which disrupted care at National Health Service facilities, forcing ambulances to divert and hospitals to postpone operations. The hack has not directly affected the company's millions of clients.

In addition to London, there have been media reports of disruption in Northumbria in the northeast, Merseyside in the northwest, and Essex in the south. Authorities in Britain have been braced for cyber attacks in the run-up to the election, as happened during last year's USA election and on the eve of the French one.

Some 1,000 Windows-operated PCs were affected, which is less than one percent of the total number of such computers in the ministry, spokeswoman Irina Volk said in a statement.

Cyber attack: NHS Wales blocks incoming emails
Hospitals across England and Scotland have been simultaneously hit by a ransomware attack, NHS Digital has confirmed. NHS Wales Informatics Service said incoming emails would be automatically deleted as a precaution until Monday.

He had highlighted an incident at Papworth Hospital near Cambridge where a nurse clicked on a malicious link and malware infected her computer and started to encrypt sensitive files.

"Once it gets in and starts moving across the infrastructure, there is no way to stop it", said Adam Meyers, a researcher with cyber-security firm CrowdStrike.

Britain's opposition Labour Party said the attack on English hospitals showed the need to place cyber security at the heart of government policy.

Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer at the Helsinki-based cybersecurity company F-Secure, called the attack "the biggest ransomware outbreak in history".

Iberdrola and Gas Natural, along with Vodafone's unit in Spain, asked staff to turn off computers or cut off internet access in case they had been compromised, representatives from the firms said.

In a statement, computer security group Kaspersky Labs said it was "trying to determine whether it is possible to decrypt data locked in the attack - with the aim of developing a decryption tool as soon as possible".

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