In the last few minutes news has come in that UK’s hospitals have come under a major cyber attack plunging Hospitals on their busiest night of the week into chaos, The Independent Reports:
Dozens of hospital trusts across the country have been hit by a huge cyber attack, plunging the NHS into chaos.
IT systems appear to have broken and emergency patients are being diverted to other areas, with hospitals across England and Scotland affected.
The NHS was just one of the victims of the huge attack, which spread across the world infecting computers in 74 countries in Europe and Asia.
The hack appears to be an example of ransomware – malicious hackers breaking into computers and only allowing their owners back in when they pay enough money.
A message showing on computers tells users that they can recover files but only if they send $300 of bitcoin to a specific address.
The price will rise with time and the files will eventually be deleted, the warning reads.
Cybersecurity firm Avast said it has tracked over 75,000 attacks in 99 countries so far. They said the majority of the attacks were targeted at Russia, Ukraine and Taiwan.
British Prime Minister Theresa May addressed the hacks, saying it’s not just targeted at the NHS.
“This is not targeted at the NHS, it’s an international attack and a number of countries and organisations have been affected,” May said in a statement. “The National Cyber Security Centre is working closely with NHS digital to ensure that they support the organisations concerned and that they protect patient safety.”
Doesn’t look like many people have paid up though, on a quick check of the Bitcoin address it seems they have only managed to get just over half a bitcoin. We will investigate the wallet address further to see where it leads:
This will undoubtedly be used by the Government and media as another reason why Bitcoin and other decentralised currencies cannot be trusted or endorsed.
Could this attack be using CIA developed software, some are suggesting the nature of this ransomware virus gives reason to suspect it originates from the CIA’s hacking tools as described by the Wilileaks Vault7 release earlier this year: