Hackers steal another cyber weapon from American spy agency

Isaac Cain
May 19, 2017

On Monday night the government said the ransomware - also known as Wana Decryptor, WannaCrypt and Wana - had affected eight Australian businesses, an increase from the "at least three" figure the government had claimed that morning.

Large swathes of the NHS were paralysed by the cyber attack, which hit 200,000 victims in 150 countries around the world.

Organisations around the world have spent weekend trying to recover after being hit by a virus that seeks to seize control of computers until victims pay a ransom.

Problems with cyber security in NHS organisations were highlighted previous year by Dame Fiona Caldicott, the national data guardian, who warned that issues were given insufficient priority and that health bodies persisted in using obsolete computer systems, The Times said.

Ransomware is a kind of malware that encrypts your information on the computer and prevents users from accessing the files on their system until a certain amount is paid.

As with the NSA's EternalBlue, the tool on which WannaCry was based, EsteeMaudit exploits a vulnerability in Microsoft's Windows software in the way in which networked machines communicate with each other.

Employees watching an electronic board to monitor possible cyber attacks at the Korea Internet and Security Agency in Seoul yesterday.

But Europol considers ransomware attacks as criminal as few payments had so far been made i response to the attack.

Mr Hutchins, from Devon, has been credited with stopping the WannaCry attack from spreading across the globe by accidentally triggering a "kill switch".

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"In the NHS, the technology they are using it out of date", said Paul Edon of cyber security group Tripwire.

One source said: "We work with a lot of different people".

The Pharmaceutical Services Negotiating Committee, which represents pharmacy contractors in England, said: "Unless otherwise directed by their IT system supplier/helpdesk, pharmacy teams can continue to use EPS, SCR and NHSmail".

Doctors across the country described their dismay as their computers suddenly stopped working on Friday, leaving them with no access to patients' x-rays, blood test results or medical histories.

"This is a sophisticated attack in terms of how it goes about attacking systems but relatively simple in terms of what it does, which is to scramble data and charge a ransom for victims to unscramble that data". Those who have not installed the new patch introduced by Microsoft are badly affected.

In Britain, where the virus first raised global alarm when it caused hospitals to divert ambulances on Friday, it gained traction as a political issue just weeks before a general election.

Dr Wrigley spoke out after the cyber attack which brought parts of the NHS into chaos on Friday.

"It's fantastic we're seeing this problem at all, organisations have had a two-month lead time to patch this exploit". "It was clear (that) warnings were given to hospital trusts".

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