Published: Sat, May 20, 2017
Health | By Jay Jacobs

'WannaCry' cyber-attack highlights protection gap outside US

'WannaCry' cyber-attack highlights protection gap outside US

Dozens of public and private sector organisations in 150 countries across the world had their computers hit last week in a "ransomware" attack.

Problems with cyber security in the NHS was highlighted previous year by Dame Fiona Caldicott, the national data guardian, who warned issues were given insufficient priority and that health bodies persisted in using obsolete computer systems, The Times reported.

Wainwright added that what occurred was an indiscriminate attack across the world on multiple industries and services including Germany's rail network Deutsche Bahn, Spanish telecommunications operator Telefonica, US logistics giant FedEx and Russia's interior ministry.

Companies around the globe are preparing for an imminent cyber attack as the offices re-open on Monday, media reports said.

NHS Grampian said it remains "completely confident" no patient data was accessed in the ransomware attack, which hit 13 health boards across the country and countless nationwide, leaving some with a backlog of postponed appointments to contend with.

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt confirmed there had not been a second wave of attacks on NHS trusts and said it was "encouraging" that the level of criminal activity was at "the lower end of the range" anticipated.

Many firms have had experts working over the weekend to prevent new infections.

Britain's official emergency committee, known as Cobra, met in London on Saturday afternoon to discuss the cyber-attack that has caused widespread disruption to the country's National Health Service (NHS).

"Systems are returning to normal today and I would like to thank NHS staff for their hard work over the weekend".

On Sunday night, Microsoft blamed the United States spy agency that had originally developed software that allowed the ransomware attack to infect computers.

A GLOBAL cyber attack that has struck computers across Europe and Asia is believed to have infected its first Australian business, the federal government says.

But Opposition parties have criticised the government, saying they had cut funding to the NHS IT budget and a contract to protect computer systems was not renewed after 2015.

"Once we get to the bottom of this one, we'll make sure that this is available to people as well", he said.

Microsoft released a security update in March to protect against WannaCrypt but Windows XP was excluded from the patch.

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