UK working to restore hospital systems after cyberattack

UK interior minister does not know who was behind cyber attack - BBC radio

Kurt Baumgartner, principal security researcher at Kaspersky, says the malware has translations in dozens of languages, such that instructions for paying the ransom are displayed in the language set for that computer.

The malicious software behind the onslaught appeared to exploit a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows that was supposedly identified by the National Security Agency for its own intelligence-gathering purposes and was later leaked to the internet.

While no German government agencies were believed to have been affected, Russia's Interior Ministry said about 1,000 of its computers were hit. Volk said the ministry's servers were not infected.

Megafon, a top Russian mobile operator, also said it has come under cyberattacks that appeared similar to those that crippled United Kingdom hospitals on Friday.

According to the cyber experts, the hackers are supposed to crack the loopholes with online security system originally developed by the US National Security Agency.

The security holes it exploits were disclosed weeks ago by TheShadowBrokers, a mysterious group that published what it said are hacking tools used by the NSA.

Before Friday's attack, Microsoft had made fixes for older systems, such as 2001's Windows XP, available only to mostly larger organizations that paid extra for extended technical support. It initially said 16 NHS organizations had reported being hit, and more reports came in as the day went on.

The spokesman, Jan Op Gen Oorth, declined to give further details Friday so as not to jeopardize the ongoing investigations.

Law enforcement authorities and security experts said they didn't know who unleashed the attack. By Friday evening, the ministry said it had "contained" the attack and denied that any of its information had been stolen.

The statement said "due to the efficient cooperation between the institutions, the attack was prevented as were damages, as the targets were identified as well as the methodology of the attack".

In statement, the Trust said: "We are continuing to deal with a major IT disruption and we are sorry for any delays experienced at our hospitals".

One reason Russian Federation may have been so hard hit is the use of outdated software by government agencies. He said that mobile communications haven't been affected.


May says there is no evidence that patient data has been compromised. The attack froze computers at hospitals across the country, with some cancelling all routine procedures. The infected computer screens demand payment for the data to be released. Six still had problems, the report said.

Spain has activated a special protocol to protect critical infrastructure in response to the "massive infection" of personal and corporate computers targeted in ransomware cyberattacks.

Indeed, while FedEx Corp. reported that its Windows computers were "experiencing interference" from malware - it wouldn't say if it had been hit by the ransomware - other impacts in the US were not readily apparent on Saturday.

This malware is being sent through emailing in the form of encrypted compressed file.

Elsewhere in Europe, the attack hit Spain's Telefonica, a global broadband and telecommunications company, and knocked ticketing offline for Norway's IF Odd, a 132-year-old soccer club.

The Spanish government said several companies had been targeted in ransomware cyberattack that affected the Windows operating system of employees' computers.

"It's an worldwide attack and a number of countries and organizations have been affected", she said. "In other words, Microsoft is no longer looking for and seeking to fix vulnerabilities in the system".

NHS Digital, which oversees hospital cybersecurity, says the attack used the Wanna Decryptor variant of malware, which holds affected computers hostage while the attackers demand a ransom.

Security experts said the attack appeared to be caused by a self-replicating piece of software that enters companies and organizations when employees click on email attachments, then spreads quickly internally from computer to computer when employees share documents and other files.

Computers in hospitals and clinics across the country shut down on Friday (May 12), forcing patients to be turned away.

Pictures posted on social media showed screens of NHS computers with images demanding payment of $300 worth of the online currency Bitcoin, saying: "Ooops, your files have been encrypted!"

In London, Barts Health NHS Trust, which includes Barts Hospital, the Royal London Hospital and Whipps Cross University Hospital said all outpatient appointments had been cancelled on Saturday and some ambulances were being diverted to neighbouring hospitals.

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