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Breaking News: Ransomware hits several NHS organisations across the country

NHS England has announced that several NHS organisations have been affected by a malware variant called Wanna Decryptor, in large-scale ransomware attack

 

 

NHS organisations started to receive the following alert across their PCs demanding payment to be made if they want to gain access to their systems.

According to the Guardian, an NHS worker based at an Essex hospital commented, ‘We got some ransomware that came through on the computers at about 2pm. We were told to shut down, take out network cables and unplug the phones. A message came up for just one of our team about the fact that all the files would be wiped in two hours unless we gave $300 in bitcoins.’

The Malware variant affecting the various organisations is an encryption-based ransomware, alternatively known as WannaCry or WCRY. It encrypts user’s files using AES and RSA encryption ciphers meaning the hackers can directly decrypt system files using a unique decryption key. It arrives on a system as a file dropped by other malware or as a file downloaded unknowingly by users when visiting malicious sites.

Nowcomm network security expert Luke Hudson commented, ‘Cybercriminals don’t attack purely on moral judgement, if they can make money by holding a hospital or any organisation that is unlucky enough to be affected by this malware – they will. Today further illustrates the importance of having a robust defence-in-depth strategy in place that offers multiple layers of security protection, as it would appear we have some major health practices that are unable to carry out patient care and will be concerned about the safety of patient data. Defence-in-depth ensures that a network infrastructure is protected on multiple layers or levels, making it harder to infiltrate the system’.

Nowcomm is currently raising awareness against ransomware attacks through a series of webinars and articles to help prevent and avoid these incidents from occurring in the first place. Kevin Prone, Nowcomm's Services Manager is demonstrating a new security solution available from Nowcomm based on Cisco Umbrella in an upcoming 30 minute webinar. This service protects your network by utilising DNS technology within the wider internet, therefore extending your protection beyond your own network so attacks don’t even reach you. This event is being held on May 24th at 11 am BST, to register for this 30 minute WebEx event please click on the link - http://www.nowcomm.co.uk/cisco-umbrella-webinar.html

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