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Tayside GP practices affected by NHS cyber-attack running as normal

16 May 2017

A British cyber whiz was hailed an "accidental hero" after he registered a domain name that unexpectedly stopped the spread of the virus.

The patches won't do any good for machines that have already been hit. "It's a big priority of mine that we protect the financial infrastructure", he said.

The "kill" function halted WanaCryptor's ability to copy itself rapidly to all terminals in an infected system - hastening its crippling effect on a large network - once it was in contact with a secret internet address, or URL, consisting of a lengthy alphanumeric string.

"I think we may have got away with it".

"We will be operating a paper-based system with patients being seen in order of clinical need, which may mean patients with less urgent problems may wait longer", a spokesman said.

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Meanwhile, Security Minister Ben Wallace has insisted NHS trusts have enough money to protect themselves against cyber attacks. If you have a hospital appointment you should still attend unless you are contacted and told not to.

French carmaker Renault was forced to stop production at sites in France, Slovenia and Romania, while FedEx said it was "implementing remediation steps as quickly as possible".

Forty-eight NHS trusts, a fifth of the total in England and Wales, have been affected, causing disruption to routine procedures and emergency services, including the cancelling of operations and postponement of cancer treatments.

German rail operator Deutsche Bahn said some electronic signs at stations announcing arrivals and departures were infected. And the hackers warned that they will delete all files on infected systems if no payment is received within seven days. Shadow Brokers, a group that regularly posts stolen software and hacking tools developed by the US government, released the tool online last month.

"The reason why so many patients have been unaffected today is because they were ready for this, they had staff who came in over the weekend to make sure patients were unaffected", she said.

Microsoft's top lawyer has called on governments around the world to treat the worldwide cyber attack as a "wake-up call" as he laid part of the blame at the door of the U.S. administration.

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Growing ransom demands The sort of ransom demands have been growing precedent at medical facilities.

Officials across the globe scrambled over the weekend to catch the culprits behind a massive ransomware worm that disrupted operations at auto factories, hospitals, shops and schools, while Microsoft on Sunday pinned blame on the United States government for not disclosing more software vulnerabilities. "Ransomware becomes particularly nasty when it infects institutions like hospitals, where it can put people's lives in danger", said Kroustek, the Avast analyst.

However, Wainwright said Europol was working on the basis that the cyber-attack was carried out by criminals rather than terrorists, but noted that "remarkably few" payments had been made so far. Two employees at St Bartholomew's Hospital, which is part of Barts Health, told AFP that all the computers in the hospital had been turned off. Portugal Telecom and Telefonica Argentina both said they were also targeted.

He warned governments against stockpiling such vulnerabilities and said instead they should report them to manufacturers - not sell, store or exploit them, lest they fall into the wrong hands.

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Tayside GP practices affected by NHS cyber-attack running as normal