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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.

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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.

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."

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NHS cyber attack aftermath likely to last a number of days

NHS Digital said their engineers are working 'around the clock' to fix the problems. Credit: PA

The aftermath of the "major" cyber attack which has hit the NHS is likely to last for a number of days, experts have said.

A total of 48 NHS trusts in England and 13 NHS health boards in Scotland were crippled in the global attack on Friday when a ransomware virus infiltrated dozens of NHS organisations.

Five NHS England trusts were still not back to normal on Saturday, despite NHS Digital engineers working "around the clock" in a bid to fix the problem.

NHS Digital continued that fewer than five per cent of devices within the health service still use the old Windows XP system.

"We are aware of widespread speculation about the use of Microsoft Windows XP by NHS organisations, who commission IT systems locally depending on population need.

"While the vast majority are running contemporary systems, we can confirm that the number of devices within the NHS that reportedly use XP has fallen to 4.7%, with this figure continuing to decrease.

"This may be because some expensive hardware (such as MRI scanners) cannot be updated immediately, and in such instances organisations will take steps to mitigate any risk, such as by isolating the device from the main network."

Rudd: One in five NHS England trusts hit by cyber attack

Home Secretary Amber Rudd Credit: Pool

The Home Secretary has revealed that 48 of the 248 NHS trusts in England have been hit during a "major" cyber attack.

A further 13 NHS Health Boards in Scotland were also targeted in the attack.

Speaking after chairing an emergency Cobra meeting, Amber Rudd added that all but five NHS England trusts are now back to normal, praising the "good work" and "resilience" of NHS staff in making this happen.

Asked if Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt would be making a statement on the attack, the 53-year-old that "plenty of NHS representatives" already had done and were due to.

Amid suggestions outdated software left some health service systems vulnerable after a security package was stopped in 2015, Ms Rudd said it is important to remember that it was not just the NHS which had been affected.

"If you look at who's been impacted by this virus, it's a huge variety across different industries and across international governments.

"This is a virus that attacked Windows platforms. The fact is the NHS has fallen victim to this.

"I don't think it's to do with that preparedness. There's always more we can all do to make sure we're secure against viruses, but I think there have already been good preparations in place by the NHS to make sure they were ready for this sort of attack."

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