NHS hack 'could have been prevented'

Oct 28, 2017, 00:11

The report also reveals concerns over the Department of Health's (DoH) reaction to warnings of NHS cyber-attacks.

The WannaCry ransomware attack back in May was a global event and affected many organisations beyond the NHS.

The malware encrypted data on infected computers and demanded a ransom roughly equivalent to £230 ($300).

Amyas Morse, the head of the National Audit Office, on Friday criticized the preparedness of the N.H.S.

A consequent theme in its findings is that the Department of Health "does not know" the answers to numerous questions the NAO asked.

For many executives, a serious cyber-attack is now very high on their list of risks to their organisations and a priority for disaster planning.

Prior to the attack, NHS Digital had conducted an on-site cyber-security assessment for 88 out of 236 trusts, and none had passed.

Prior to the attack, the Department of Health didn't have any formal mechanism for checking whether local NHS organisations were following their advice on cybersecurity issues.

Occurring on 12 May this year, the WannaCry virus infected computers around the world, including computers in a large number of NHS trusts across the UK.

An NAO report found computers at one third of health trusts across England were infected along with computers at nearly 600 GP surgeries.

6912 appointments, including operations, were cancelled because of the ransomware.

Researchers said that the attack led to disruption in over a third (34%) of trusts and caused around 19,000 appointments to be cancelled.

This included with five hospitals, including the West Cumberland Hospital, having divert ambulances away after being locked out of computers. National and local NHS staff worked overtime including over the weekend of 13 to 14 May to resolve problems and to prevent a fresh wave of organisations being affected by WannaCry on Monday May 15.

"I think at this point that all observers in the know have concluded that WannaCry was caused by North Korea using cyber tools or weapons that were stolen from the National Security Agency in the United States", Smith said.

'In the digital age, it is abundantly clear that a 21st Century health service should have been far better prepared for a cyber-attack'.

Organisations could also have better managed their computers' firewalls - but in many cases they did not, it said.

Infected organisations had unpatched, or unsupported Windows operating systems so were susceptible to the ransomware.

It's a shame that it takes a major incident like WannaCry - which was entirely preventable - to make the government and the NHS think about their ability to respond to cyber attacks.

Hospitals were found to have been running out-of-date computer systems, such as Windows XP and Windows 7 - that had not been updated to secure them against such attacks.

"There are more sophisticated cyber-threats out there than WannaCry so the Department and the NHS need to get their act together to ensure the NHS is better protected against future attacks".

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
  • AMD Ryzen processors want to power your next skinny laptop

    AMD Ryzen processors want to power your next skinny laptop

    Lisa Su confirmed that the Ryzen mobile chips featuring Vega GPU cores are going to be released in the first quarter of 2018. These new processors combine the architectures of "Zen" x86 cores and Radeon "Vega" graphics in a System-on-Chip design.
    Spain down Mali to set up England showdown

    Spain down Mali to set up England showdown

    Spain have qualified for the finals of the 2017 Under-17 FIFA World Cup, after defeating 2015 runners-up Mali 3-1 at the Dr. Mali stuck to its game plan of taking shots from outside the box while Spain was happy to press on the counter.

    Bank of Canada Leaves Rates Unchanged, Pledges Cautious Policy Approach

    The Bank is also mindful that global structural factors could be weighing on inflation in Canada and other advanced economies. Because of high debt levels, household spending is likely more sensitive to interest rates than in the past.
  • Bloodhound SSC Supersonic Car Will Attempt First Public Test Today

    Bloodhound SSC Supersonic Car Will Attempt First Public Test Today

    You can find out more details about the Bloodhound and their world record attempt over at their website at the link below. They stepped in past year when the project had stalled for lack of cash, and more major sponsors would be welcome.
    Nintendo's Animal Crossing is finally coming to mobile

    Nintendo's Animal Crossing is finally coming to mobile

    While you can just chat to the local animals, you can also invite your real-life friends to you camp by swapping your player IDs. If it is anything like Fire Emblem Heroes , Pocket Camp will only improve in the weeks and months following its release.
    Carson: People 'Looking' For Something To Criticize In Trump's Call To Widow

    Carson: People 'Looking' For Something To Criticize In Trump's Call To Widow

    Trump spent days going after Wilson, whom he said "totally fabricated" her account of the phone call, which she was present for. So I called right from the beginning, there's no hesitation, one of the great memories of all time, no hesitation.
  • Air passenger could face tighter security measures at Edinburgh Airport

    It urged those flying through Dubai International Airport, its headquarters, to allow extra time to check into flights and board. The TSA will also conduct more thorough inspections of electronic devices that will be taken on a flight.

    Henrico Launches Free Flu Shot Clinics and Prepares for Public Health Emergencies

    If you can't wash your hands when you're out, use hand sanitizer and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. The registered nurse has learned that some people are more squeamish about getting the shot than others.
    Kiwis opt to bat after India ODI pitch controversy

    Kiwis opt to bat after India ODI pitch controversy

    Salgaonkar then said that it is going to be a 337-340 wicket - and assured on camera that a score as big as 337 will be chaseable. Khanna also said that he has already written to Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) chief Abhay Apte on the issue.
  • Study links smoking pot to having more sex

    Study links smoking pot to having more sex

    Similarly, men who used marijuana daily reported having sex with a woman 6.9 times per month, compared to 5.6 times for nonusers. In other words, it seems that people who like to smoke weed may have other character traits that lead them to be lustier.

    Facebook to Test Ad Transparency Starting in Canada Next Month

    The company also said it plans to build an archive of federal election ads so people can look historically at campaigns. It will be available in the United States by the summer, Facebook said, a few months before the U.S. midterm elections.
    U.S.  told Pakistan won't be a proxy: Asif

    U.S. told Pakistan won't be a proxy: Asif

    The minister stated that Pakistan would not budge on the demands of the U.S. like it had been the practice in the past. Moreover, he said the parliamentary resolutions also sent a strong message to the US.
popular