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NHS Wales blocks incoming emails after cyber attacks

It is thought that more than 70 countries were targeted by the cyber assault Credit: PA

NHS Wales has announced it is to block all incoming emails to its accounts until at least Monday, following a cyber attack on Friday which hit services in Scotland and England.

Ambulances were diverted and patients warned to avoid some A&E departments as IT failures affected up to 16 hospitals.

On Twitter, the Welsh NHS said it would review the situation after the weekend.

Outbound and internal emails will not be affected.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd insisted there was no evidence patient data had been released as part of the malware attack.

Read more: 40 NHS Trusts believed to have been hit by 'major' cyber attack

There have so far been no incidents in NHS Wales from the ransomware attack on NHS systems in England and Scotland. We have recently invested in upgrading IT to protect potentially vulnerable front-line NHS Wales systems. We have also introduced a national standard for IT security for all GP surgeries in Wales. We continue to monitor the situation closely.

– Welsh Government spokesperson

No reported cyber attacks affecting NHS Wales

No reported cyber incidents have affected NHS Wales, as hospitals in England and Scotland deal with attacks, the Welsh Government have confirmed.

IT failiures have affected up to 16 hospitals in England and Scotland - but none, yet, in Wales. Credit: PA

Ambulances have been diverted and patients warned to avoid some A&E departments as IT failures affected up to 16 hospitals in England and Scotland.

Systems are believed to have been hit by a ransomware cyber attack using malware called "Wanna Decryptor", which works by encrypting files on a user's computer, blocking them from view and threatening to delete them unless a payment is made.

But the Welsh Government have said no such incidents have affected NHS hospitals in Wales, as they continue to monitor the situation.

We have had no reported cyber incidents affecting NHS Wales but are monitoring the situation closely.

– Welsh Government Spokesperson

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Cyber security centre of excellence to open at Cardiff University

Credit: Sergei Konkov/Tass/PA Images

A new research centre to research into cyber security has been launched by Cardiff University and Airbus.

The Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security Analytics will be in Cardiff University’s School of Computer Science and Informatics and is said to be the first of its kind in Europe.

Researchers will carry out studies into machine learning, data analytics, and artificial intelligence for cyber-attack detection. The research aims to protect corporate IT networks, intellectual property, and critical national infrastructure.

Cyber security analytics is about improving our resilience to cyber-attacks through data modelling to detect and block malicious behaviour before it causes its full impact; but also about understanding what motivates the behaviour, what its likely impact will be, and how to communicate security alerts among decision and policy-makers.

– Dr Pete Burnap, Cardiff University
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