October 18, 2017

Cyber warning to South Africans after global attack

19 May 2017, 11:21 | Marlene Myers

Hospitals were forced to turn away patients and cancel appointments.

"Cyber security experts in the National Health Service (NHS) worked alongside the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), part of the GCHQ spy agency, to patch computer systems after the attack caused widespread problems on Friday, Wallace said". A spokesman for May said the annual information technology budget in the NHS was 4.2 billion pounds and that an extra 50 million pounds had been allocated for updating cyber security. It's not uncommon for them to use aliases, either to protect themselves from retaliatory attacks or for privacy.

As of Friday, HITRUST said it had not received any reports of an attack on a US hospital.

Russian President Vladimir Putin denied that his country, which has been accused of cyber meddling in several countries in recent years, had anything to do with the attack. It appears to exploit a vulnerability in Windows that, according to the Toronto Star, "was supposedly identified by the U.S".

"As a result of the swift action taken on Friday and over the weekend, the impact the attack had on local systems has been minimal and today all GP practices across Castle Point, Rochford and Southend are operational with only a few minor issues reported from some practices".

The ransomware attack has affected more than 200,000 victims in 150 countries, said Rob Wainwright, head of law enforcement agency Europol.

The extortion attack, also called ransomware, used "WannaCry" malware that encrypts users' files until users pay a ransom. Although the system was accepting patients to its emergency departments and no longer diverting ambulances, Barts continued to "experience IT disruption" Monday morning and had reduced the volume of planned services.

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Authorities in Europe and the U.S. turned their attention to preventing hackers from spreading new versions of the virus.

Soon he and MalwareTech were communicating about what they'd found: That registering the domain name and redirecting the attacks to the server of Kryptos Logic had activated the kill switch, halting the ransomware's infections.

That being said, seven of the 47 of Britain's National Health Service trusts that were affected on Friday were still having IT troubles on Monday.

Qihoo had previously said the attack had infected close to 30,000 organisations by Saturday evening, more than 4,000 of which were educational institutions.

When asked if the government ignored warnings that the NHS could be vulnerable to cyber attacks, Prime Minister Theresa May told Sky News that the United Kingdom healthcare system was given ample warning about the risks posed by out-dated systems. Nonetheless, officials and security firms seemed optimistic, telling news outlets that the spread was starting to slow.

"Security experts said the NSA had engaged in responsible disclosure by informing Microsoft of the flaw at some point after learning it had been stolen and a month before the tools leaked online".

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