1. ITV Report

Guernsey States 'unaffected' by the ransomware attack

The States of Guernsey say the island was 'unaffected' by the global cyber attack that disrupted organisations around the world last week.

The ransomware, which locked users' files and demanded payment to allow access, spread to 150 countries, including Russia, the US and China.

In England, 47 NHS trusts reported problems at hospitals, GP surgeries or pharmacies and 13 NHS organisations in Scotland were also affected.

Locally, neither the Princess Elizabeth Hospital nor the Medical Specialist Group was affected, with both wanting to reassure patients that operations and appointments are unaffected.

UK hospitals that routinely treat Bailiwick patients were also unaffected.

The States of Guernsey say the vast majority of their machines operate Windows 7 or higher, so were supported by Microsoft patches.

Deputy Mary Lowe, President of the Committee for Home Affairs, which leads on cyber security, says 'the global attack really highlights the need for our whole community to remain vigilant to the very real threat cyber-attacks pose'.

She adds that despite the island being unaffected at this stage 'we must not be complacent'.

My Committee is working with colleagues from the UK National Cyber Security Centre to enhance our information sharing and cyber capability and as a result we had very early indication of the attack through the Cyber Information Sharing Partnership. We will continue to develop appropriate and proportionate cyber security and this will be a key area of the Committee’s work aligned with the Policy and Resource Plan.

– Deputy Mary Lowe, President of the Committee for Home Affairs

All organisations are advised to:

  • Keep security software patches up to date
  • Use proper anti-virus software services
  • Back up the data that matters, because you can't be held to ransom for data you hold somewhere else

Colin Vaudin, States of Guernsey Chief Information Officer, says a number of further steps have been taken since the attacks occurred, including emailing all government staff reminding them of the need to remain vigilant, checking the network, ensuring all systems are patched and contacting partner organisations.