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NHS provides outpatients updates following cyber attack

19 May 2017

There is a more "complex emerging picture" of the cyber-attack that hit Britain's National Health Service - and other parts of the world - over the weekend.

"Bearing in mind the impact of the global cyber attack we would urge people to be patient with staff who may still be dealing with disruption to their systems".

NHS England said that, as of 3pm on Monday, two hospitals remained on divert following the attack, down from seven on Sunday.

Hawkhill Medical Centre staff said their computers were hit by the virus on Friday afternoon, with a demand appearing on the screen for payment of the online currency Bitcoin.

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It spread in Asia overnight, and there are worries variants of the ransomware behind a crippling global cyber attack could pop up on even more PCs this week as security agencies scramble to find the hackers behind it. "An equivalent scenario with conventional weapons would be the USA military having some of its Tomahawk missiles stolen".

The NHS has provided an update about planned treatment and outpatient appointments following the ransomware attack on its IT systems.

Doctors surgeries in Tayside affected by the UK-wide NHS cyber-attack are now "operating as normal".

"Small business owners should be pro-active about their cyber security in the wake of this ransomware campaign affecting computers around the world", Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Cyber Security Dan Tehan said in an after hours statement.

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The ransomware attack struck British National Health Service organisations, along with computer networks of companies and municipalities in dozens of other countries. "It was clear warnings were given to hospital trusts but this is not something that focused on attacking the NHS here in the United Kingdom".

Chinese state media said 29,372 institutions had been affected along with hundreds of thousands of devices, and universities and universities and schools among the hardest hit. It was patched by Microsoft at the time, but older versions of Windows or those without Windows Update were left open to attacks.

Professor Clark said ransomware represented a growing threat to computer users but pointed out that this virus was not new and a "patch" had already been completed to protect newer operating systems but not "obsolete" ones like Windows XP.

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