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Beware: Worldwide Ransomware Attack May Be Far from Over

19 May 2017, 11:47 | Marlene Myers

The minister also confirmed the attack wasn't on a government organisation.

Furthermore, the latest ransomware attack - believed to have come from a flaw in Microsoft's Windows software that the the US National Security Agency used to build a hacking tool for its own use - highlights the need for health services to introduce a comprehensive back-up plan and recovery processes in the event of a cyber-security breach.

Marcus Hutchins, who was hailed a hero after stopping the WannaCry bug that infected 230,000 devices worldwide, was banned from internet access after being accused of crashing his school's IT system.

NHS Lanarkshire was among the worst affected in Scotland and was advising only the sickest patients to attend accident and emergency departments.

Yampolskiy further said that users are not any safer with their data or information in the cloud. These other programs are in various stages of development and try to masquerade as WannaCry, even though some of them are not even capable of encrypting files at this point.

A divert remained in place for trauma, stroke and urgent heart attack treatment, where diagnostic services are required, at the Lister Hospital, part of East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust (Midlands & East).

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The extortion attack, also called ransomware, used "WannaCry" malware that encrypts users' files until users pay a ransom. Authorities in Europe and the U.S. turned their attention to preventing hackers from spreading new versions of the virus.

In a letter to The Times, Sir David said: "Should Microsoft have stopped supporting Windows XP so soon, knowing that institutions had invested heavily in it (at the urging of the company at the time)?"

The recent global ransomware attack has once again proved that healthcare sector remains to be the most vulnerable to cybercrimes. In December it was reported that nearly all NHS trusts were using an obsolete version of Windows that Microsoft had stopped providing security updates for in April 2014.

Microsoft's chief lawyer, Brad Smith, said the attacks should act as a "wake-up" call to governments worldwide and laid part of the blame on United States intelligence agencies the CIA and National Security Agency for "stockpiling" software code which could be exploited by hackers.

In addition to Russian Federation, the biggest targets appeared to be Ukraine and India, nations where it is common to find older, unpatched versions of Windows in use, according to security firms.

The National Cyber Resilience Leaders' Board was chaired by Justice Secretary Michael Matheson, while Health Secretary Shona Robison made a statement to update Parliament on resilience efforts.

Germany's national railway says that it was among the organizations affected by the global cyberattack but there was no impact on train services.



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