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Amidst global ransomware attack, new versions of WannaCry emerge

20 May 2017, 01:42 | Taylor George

The "WannaCry" cyber attack affected 47 NHS organisations including several across Lancashire.

'There have also been other reports made to our online cyber security network and the difficulty is of course there are literally hundres of instances of ransomware in Australia each week and so we are now seeking to confirm whether these are examples of the particular ransomware that has cause so much havoc for example in the United Kingdom'.

"They have been working I know through the night nearly to make sure patches are in place to make sure that hopefully the NHS services can get back to normal", he told BBC radio.

In a statement following the second meeting of Holyrood's resilence committee after the largest-ever global cyber attack last Friday, it was confirmed there had been no spike in hacking incidents after organisations returned to work yesterday.

But only a handful of appointments had to be cancelled and the Global Positioning System were able to see patients on Monday morning even though much of the surgery's IT equipment was still down.

Sir David Omand, the former head of GCHQ who was once homeland security adviser to Number 10, said the tech giant knew public bodies around the world were at risk from hackers. So far not many people had paid the ransoms the virus demands, he said.

The cyberattacks started Friday and spread rapidly around the globe using a security flaw in Microsoft's Windows XP operating system, an older version that is no longer given mainstream tech support by the United States giant.

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At present, patients are being advised to still turn up to their scheduled appointments, and while the NHS systems can not confirm details of them, they are doing their best to instil as little inconvenience as possible. "It has been a very strong response", she said.

Technology powerhouse Microsoft have also responded by re-releasing security updates for older versions of their Windows software in order to mitigate further outbreaks.

"It's why we are putting £2 billion [$2.6 billion] into cyber-security over the coming years and, of course, created the National Cyber Security Centre".

A Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust spokesman said: "None of our services have been impacted by the recent cyber attack".

NHS bosses are confident that south Essex experienced only minor issues, and that patient care was largely unaffected.

But NHS Digital said it had made health trusts aware last month of IT protection that could have prevented the attack.

The organisation also recommended that trusts ensure security software patches were up-to-date and that up-to-date virus software was also being used. He said: "We had no computers and no access to any records".



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