At least 74 countries affected in 'biggest ever' cyberattack

13 Mai, 2017, 17:39 | Author: Lucrece Courtet

Ciaran Martin, who leads UK's National Cyber Security Centre, said his team was doing everything in its power to get "vital services" back up and running.

Authorities said they were communicating with more than 100 energy, transportation, telecommunications and financial services providers about the attack.

The extortion attack, which locked up computers and held users' files for ransom, was believed the biggest of its kind ever recorded, disrupting services from the U.S.to Russia, Spain and India.

French carmaker Renault has also been affected. Patients were asked not to come to hospitals unless it was an emergency.

The health service faces a weekend of chaos after the unprecedented attack forced hospitals to cancel and delay treatment for patients.

The organisations affected in Scotland are NHS Borders, NHS Dumfries and Galloway, NHS Fife, NHS Forth Valley, NHS Lanarkshire, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, NHS Tayside, NHS Western Isles, NHS Highlands, NHS Grampian, NHS Ayrshire and Arran and the Scottish Ambulance Service.

"This is not targeted at the NHS, it's an global attack and a number of countries and organisations have been affected". Expert Marco Cova has claimed it may derive from a tool known as EXTERNALBLUE which was developed by the US National Security Agency (NSA).

"Of course it is important that we have set up the National Cyber Security Centre and they are able to work with the NHS organisations concerned and to ensure that they are supported and patient safety is protected".

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"And, we are not aware of any evidence that patient data has been compromised".

Ransomware programmes, which are sent by email and spread swiftly, can be bought on the dark web with sellers negotiating a percentage of the takings.

British Home Secretary Amber Rudd said Saturday that 45 public health organizations were hit, but she stressed that no patient data had been stolen.

The malware used in the NHS attack is called WannaCry and attacks Windows operating systems.

Computer systems in over 70 countries were rendered useless once infected by ransomware, which blocks access to a computer's hard-drive and forces victims to pay a sum of money in order to regain access to files.

The virus is usually covertly installed on to computers by being hidden within innocent-looking emails containing links, which users are tricked into opening.

A spokesman for the Russian Health Ministry, Nikita Odintsov, said on Twitter that the cyberattacks on his ministry were "effectively repelled".

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