NHS Could Have Prevented Wannacry Ransom Attack

Last May's Wannacry attack which crippled the UK's National Health Service was a relatively simple attack and could have been prevented by the service following basic  IT security best practice. Figures released by the National Audit Office reveal that the ransomware attack affected 45 NHS organisations including 37 trusts on the first day and at least 81 out of 236 trusts across England, 595 GP practices, and 603 primary care and other NHS organisations were impacted during the course of the campaign.

Even after being alerted by the Department and Cabinet Office in 2014, who warned about the dangers of using outdated software, NHS trusts did little to update or replace software used at clinics and hospitals. The problem was compounded by the fact that, the Department of Health had no procedures to assess if  NHS trusts and hospitals were complying with best practice guidelines to prevent cyber-attacks.

The report continues: The lack of visibility was such that even now, neither the Department nor NHS England knows how many GP appointments were cancelled, how many patients were diverted, or how much the disruption to services cost the NHS. According to NAO, the disruption could have been much worse if the ransomware had not been stopped by a cyber-researcher activating a ‘kill switch'.

The Audit Office also observed that the NHS had not rehearsed for a national cyber-attack, it was not immediately clear who should lead the response as there were problems with communications, that locally NHS staff shared information through personal mobile devices, including using the encrypted WhatsApp application, that infected organisations had unpatched, or unsupported Windows operating systems so were susceptible to the ransomware, and that the NHS has accepted that there are lessons to learn from WannaCry and is taking action.

more news

Europol Releases Latest IOCTA Report


Each year, Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) publishes the Internet Organised Crime Threat Assessment (IOCTA), its flagship strategic report on key findings and emerging threats and developments in cybercrime — threats that impact governments, businesses and citizens in the EU.

read more

European Cybersecurity Month 2019 Is launched


October marks the kick-off of the European Cybersecurity Month (ECSM), coordinated by the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity (ENISA), the European Commission and supported by the Member States. This campaign will focus on expanding awareness about cybersecurity to citizens across Europe.

read more

Remote Desktop Attacks Increasing


The Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) is being used by cyberattackers to penetrate and extract data from a network before introducing their malicious software to perform internal reconnaissance, according to a new Vectra 2019 Spotlight Report on RDP.

read more

LexisNexis Report On Cybercrime Has Shock Figures


LexisNexis Risk Solutions has released at the Digital Identity Summit its Cybercrime Report providing a comprehensive view into the shifting global fraud landscape from January 2019 through June 2019. During this period, the LexisNexis Digital Identity Network recorded 16.4 billion transactions, of which 277 million were human-initiated attacks, a 13 per cent increase over the second half of 2018.

read more