Ransomware takes down hospitals, businesses in at least 2 countries

"This was not an attack that targeted the NHS", British Prime Minister Theresa May said.

Ms Rudd said the United Kingdom was a world leader in cyber security, adding: "So far, all we have seen is patients inconvenienced, some hospitals, some doctors making changes to their daily life".

Tom Donnelly, a spokesman for NHS Digital, the arm of the health service that handles cybersecurity, said in a phone interview that 16 organizations, including "hospitals and other kinds of clinician services", had been hit by a cyberattack.

Images that were posted online of the NHS pop-up look almost identical to pop-up ransomware windows that hit Spain's Telefonica, a powerful attack that forced the large telecom to order employees to disconnect their computers from its network and to resort to an intercom system to relay messages, according to Bleeping Computer.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security said late on Friday it was aware of reports of the ransomware, was sharing information with domestic and foreign partners and was ready to lend technical support.

"Once inside a network it seeks out and affects any susceptible computer it can find on the network", he said.

By Kaspersky Lab's count, the malware struck at least 74 countries.

IT problems have also caused disruption in about 30 health authorities in England, while the NHS in Wales and Northern Ireland are so far unaffected.

"These attacks underscore the fact that vulnerabilities will be exploited not just by our security agencies but by hackers and criminals around the world", the American Civil Liberties Union, a frequent NSA critic, said in a statement.

The Shadow Brokers released Eternal Blue as part of a trove of hacking tools that they said belonged to the USA spy agency.

"Known as WannaCry or Wanna Decryptor, the so-called ransomware program homes in on vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows systems", the daily said.

"Today our engineers added detection and protection against new malicious software known as Ransom:Win32.WannaCrypt,"Microsoft said in a statement. We are working with customers to provide additional assistance".

Also, the hack happened four weeks before a British parliamentary election in which national security and the management of the state-run National Health Service (NHS) are important campaign themes.

Caroline Brennan, 41, went to the hospital to see her brother, who had open heart surgery. He told CNN it appeared as if they had been deleted.

Ms Robison chaired a Scottish government resilience meeting at 07:00 on Saturday and said there was a "level of confidence" that systems would be back up and running by Monday and that no breach of patient confidentiality had been detected.

Authorities in Britain have been braced for possible cyber attacks in the run-up to the vote, as happened during last year's USA election and on the eve of this month's presidential vote in France.

But those attacks - blamed on Russian Federation, which has repeatedly denied them - followed a different modus operandi involving penetrating the accounts of individuals and political organisations and then releasing hacked material online.

In NHS Lanarkshire non-emergency patients have been urged to stay away from its hospitals as it deals with the ransomware attack. The interior ministry said on its website that about 1,000 computers had been infected but it had localized the virus.

Kubo Macak, a cyber warfare expert at Exeter University, said that if the "investigation shows that the cyber attack was directed by an outside state, it would amount to a violation of the UK's sovereignty".

Although cyber extortion cases have been rising for several years, they have to date affected small-to-mid sized organisations, disrupting services provided by hospitals, police departments, public transport systems and utilities in the United States and Europe.

The news is also likely to embolden extortionists when selecting targets, Chris Camacho, chief strategy officer with cyber intelligence firm Flashpoint, said.

"Both staff and patients were frankly pretty appalled that somebody, whoever they are, for commercial gain or otherwise, would attack a health care organization", he said.

Spain, meanwhile, took steps to protect critical infrastructure in response to the attack.

The health board said in a statement: "As a precaution, NHS Lanarkshire is closing down its non-essential networked IT systems on a temporary basis".

Recommended News

  • Red Sox Permanently Ban Fan from Fenway Park for Racial Slur Use

    Red Sox Permanently Ban Fan from Fenway Park for Racial Slur Use

    You try not to put yourself in a position, for me as a father, I try to give my kids the blueprint on how life is going to be.
    US Defense chief affirms commitment to protecting Turkey

    US Defense chief affirms commitment to protecting Turkey

    The US Special Presidential Envoy for the Coalition has said that the Syrian Arab Coalition (SAC) led the retaking of Tabqa. Turkey considers the PKK to the same as the Peoples' Protection Units (YPG) in Syria, who are a component of the SDF.

    Tax lawyers outline Trump's Russian income but don't release documents

    Earlier this week, Trump and White House officials said he had directed a private law firm to send a certified letter to Sen. The attorneys said their analysis came from a review of Trump's tax returns for the last 10 years.
  • Putin says ready to help resolve N. Korea nuclear issue

    Ltd., met Kim in Dandong, on North Korea's border with China, to give him communications equipment and cash. Moon said that he looked forward to working with Trump, whom he described as showing "strong leadership".
    U.S.  prepares to ban laptops on flights from Europe

    U.S. prepares to ban laptops on flights from Europe

    The DHS says it's a matter of safety, and says there is a danger of bombs being taken on board hidden inside larger electronics. USA administration officials said in March that intelligence suggests terrorists are able to hide explosives in laptops.

    Experts see instability in the legislature after B.C. election

    She said voters sent the message they want a bigger economy, not a bigger government, while keeping middle class taxes low. If they instead chose to side the Liberals, they would form a slightly stronger majority with 46 seats.
  • Consistent Chelsea deserve top position, says West Brom's Pulis

    Consistent Chelsea deserve top position, says West Brom's Pulis

    Chelsea eventually finished 10th in the table as Leicester, 5,000/1 pre-season no-hopers completed a remarkable title triumph. All you can ask at this stage is for it to be in your hands and if Swansea score first I can't see Sunderland battling back.

    Warming ties lead to US-China trade deal

    Nebraska Cattlemen will actively continue to support the US government in accomplishing this goal as soon as possible. Adding, "This is real news!" "In the longer term, the deal paves the way for a second wave of investment in U.S.
    Sarah Huckabee Sanders admits Trump fired Comey to end Russian Federation  probe

    Sarah Huckabee Sanders admits Trump fired Comey to end Russian Federation probe

    Trump said he didn't know about campaign investigations, only that he personally wasn't being looked into by the FBI. President Trump defended his actions on Wednesday, saying Mr Comey was sacked "because he was not doing a good job".
  • Emirates airline posts 82.5 pct drop in 2016-17 profit

    Emirates airline posts 82.5 pct drop in 2016-17 profit

    Emirates carried some 56 million passengers in 2016-2017 compared to 52 million passengers the previous year. "Over the years, we have invested to build our business capabilities and brand reputation".

    Back on top: Chelsea wins the English Premier League

    He has returned a completely new player, eliminating the mistakes and lapses in concentration for which he was often ridiculed. Fellow Italian Andrea Pirlo, meanwhile, wrote in his 2014 autobiography: "When Conte speaks, his words assault you".

    Jose Mourinho concerned over losing Eric Bailly for Europa League final

    One minute later, Lacazette gave the home side the advantage on the night when he latched onto a pass across goal from Nabel Fekir.

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.