Live updates

NHS Digital: Trusts sent fix that would have protected them

Health trusts across England were sent details of an IT security patch that would have protected them from the crippling ransomware attack, NHS Digital said.

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

The health service has been rebuked for using the outdated Windows XP operating system to store digital information, despite security updates for the software having been discontinued by Microsoft.

The attack has left 47 NHS organisations affected with malware in their system, ranging from hospital trusts to commissioning support units.

Seven hospital trusts are still experiencing serious problems, among them St Bartholomew's Hospital in London, York Teaching Hospital NHS Trust and the University Hospitals of North Midlands Trust.

But NHS Digital said it had made health trusts aware last month of IT protection that could have prevented the attack.

It said in a statement: "NHS Digital issued a targeted update on a secure portal accessible to NHS staff on April 25, and then via a bulletin to more than 10,000 security and IT professionals on April 27 to alert them to this specific issue.

"These alerts included a patch to protect their systems. This guidance was also reissued on Friday following emergence of this issue."

PM denies cyber threat warnings were ignored

The prime minister during a visit to Oxfordshire Credit: PA

Theresa May has rejected claims the government ignored warnings the NHS was vulnerable to a possible cyber security attack.

The Prime Minister said warnings had been given to hospital trusts. During a visit to Oxfordshire, she insisted cyber security was being taken seriously in Whitehall.

Asked if warnings had been ignored, Mrs May said: "No. It was clear warnings were given to hospital trusts but this is not something that focused on attacking the NHS here in the UK."

She added: "Europol say there are 200,000 victims across the world.

"Cyber security is an issue that we need to address. That's why the Government, when we came into Government in 2010, put money into cyber security."

Advertisement

Corbyn blames cuts for NHS cyber attack

Jeremy Corbyn speaking at the nursing conference Credit: PA

Government cuts are to blame for exposing NHS services to the cyber-attack which hit computers around the world on Friday, Jeremy Corbyn has said.

The Labour leader was speaking as he set out a promise to provide an extra £37 billion for the NHS, with measures aimed at improving A&E performance and taking one million patients off waiting lists.

Waiting lists are soaring and, as we saw last week, Tory cuts have exposed patient services to cyber attacks.

I would like to pay tribute to how all NHS staff have responded to this terrible cyber-attack. The stress you must have faced trying to keep patients safe must have been intense, this was just another example of the extraordinary lengths you go to every day to keep our country healthy.

– Corbyn

Security minister: NHS followed 'pretty good procedure'

Security minister Ben Wallace said the NHS had followed some "pretty good procedures" in combating the cyber attack.

Technical staff restored data and replaced security patches over the weekend at trusts across the country, Mr Wallace said.

He told BBC Breakfast the Government had put £1.2 billion into combating cyber attacks during the last strategic defence and security review, including a £50 million pot to support NHS IT networks.

And he defended the Government after a National Audit Office report in November warned that taking money away from NHS services would leave them vulnerable.

He insisted individual trusts have enough money to protect themselves against cyber attacks, saying: "We make sure the trusts are aware of their vulnerabilities and ask them to make sure they keep themselves up to date. What we don't do in our NHS is micromanage it from the desk."

Mr Wallace said it was a "red herring" to focus solely on the Windows XP operating system as being vulnerable, saying the virus had also attacked both Windows 7 and 8.1.

The "real key" was whether trusts had regularly backed up data and whether they were installing security patches.

Cyber attack hits companies across Asia

China and Japan have both fallen victim to the global "ransomware" cyber attack that has created chaos in 150 countries.

Chinese state media say more than 29,000 institutions across the country have been infected, along with hundreds of thousands of devices.

Xinhua News Agency cited the Threat Intelligence Centre of Qihoo 360, a Chinese internet security services company.

It said universities and educational institutions were among the hardest hit, numbering 4,341, or about 15% of internet protocol addresses attacked.

Also affected were railway stations, mail delivery, petrol stations, hospitals, office buildings, shopping malls and government services.

The Japan Computer Emergency Response Team Co-ordination Centre said 2,000 computers at 600 companies in Japan had been affected.

Advertisement

Microsoft president: Cyber attack should be 'wake-up call'

The cyber attack should be a 'wake-up call' to the government's of the world, Microsoft President Brad Smith said. Credit: AP

The governments of the world should treat the cyber attack as a "wake-up call", the president of Microsoft has said.

In a blog post Brad Smith wrote that after a vulnerability was identified a security update was released for newer Windows systems, but "many remained unpatched globally".

Mr Smith continued that engineers had been "working around the clock" to try and help all Micorsoft customers affected by the attack and that "broader and important lessons" should be learnt from the "WannaCrypt" malware.

He continued that users must ensure they update their computer's security systems regularly.

Mr Smith stressed that governments must report vulnerabilities in their computer systems to the companies they have bought them from.

He finished by saying: "We should take from this recent attack a renewed determination for more urgent collective action.

"We need the tech sector, customers, and governments to work together to protect against cybersecurity attacks.

"More action is needed, and it’s needed now.

"In this sense, the WannaCrypt attack is a wake-up call for all of us."

Load more updates