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Biggest NHS Trust hit by ransomware attack
In England, the biggest NHS hospital trust has been affected with a virus which had been infected with a virus which has affected thousands of sensitive files. On Friday morning, the staff at Barts Health Trust received a message warned them, that the trusts fours hospitals were experiencing a “ransomware virus attack”.
Victims of ransomware blackmail usually receive phishing messages in an attempt to obtain money in order to restore the access to their computer system.
The trust had mentioned it was making “every effort” to avoid any disruption to the patents treated at its four hospitals in east London; The Royal London, Newham, Whipps Cross and St Bartholomew’s.
A source from the trust had said that the attack had affected thousands of files which are on the trusts Windows XP operating system and while the investigation was taking place the trusts file sharing system between departments was switched off.
The trusts spokesman had said “We are urgently investigating this matter and have taken a number of drives offline as a precautionary measure. We have tried and tested contingency plans in place and are making every effort to ensure that patient care will not be affected.”
This incident follows Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Foundation trust which was hit by a ransomware attack in October, when a virus had made their files inaccessible. The Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Foundation trust attack began as a result of phishing emails that contained a malicious website link or attachment which had released a virus once it was activated.
As a result of the attack the trust did not pay any ransom, however 2,800 patient appointments were cancelled during the 48 hours which the system had been shut down.
The Government had warned that the NHS was at risk of cyber attacks back in October, by saying that hacking is “no longer the stuff of spy thrillers and action movies” but a present and clear threat.
Mr Gummer, minister for Cabinet had said “large quantities of sensitive data held by the NHS and the Government is being targeted by hackers.”
He also warned that cyber attackers, including those working for foreign states, could try to “disrupt” Britain’s energy, water, transport networks and education system for example Universities and Schools.