Global extortion cyberattack hits dozens of nations

"We have recently invested in upgrading IT to protect potentially vulnerable front-line NHS Wales systems".

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Speaking Saturday after an emergency government meeting in London, Home Secretary Amber Rudd said 48 out of 248 NHS organizations were affected by the largest-ever cyberextortion attack, though "most of them are back to the normal course of business".

Barts Health NHS Trust in London was "experiencing a major IT disruption and there are delays at all of our hospitals", its website said. Experts have said the number of those affected is expected to grow on Monday when people return to work and fire up their computers.

A SECOND Oxford trust has confirmed that it will "take steps" after an worldwide cyber attack struck the NHS in England.

"If you look at who's been impacted by this virus, it's a huge variety across different industries and across global governments", she said, reported the Guardian.

In December it was reported almost all NHS trusts were using an obsolete version of Windows that Microsoft had stopped providing security updates for in April 2014.

"I believe many companies have not yet noticed", said William Saito, a cyber security adviser to Japan's government. "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".

Yet earlier on Saturday the Home Secretary said: "They [NHS trusts and health boards] have been asked to move from Windows XP, the Secretary of State for Health has been very clear in that direction".

Nissan said there had been "no major impact", but the firm was due to cease production for most of the weekend anyway due to a downturn in demand.

Hospitals in areas across Britain found themselves without access to their computers or phone systems.

Mr Hunt has yet to give a statement on the situation.

"Today our engineers added detection and protection against new malicious software known as Ransom:Win32.WannaCrypt", Microsoft said in a statement on Friday, adding it was working with customers to provide additional assistance.

The European Union's police agency, Europol, says it is working with countries hit by the global ransomware cyberattack to rein in the threat and help victims. We will continue to work with affected organisations to confirm this.

The Russian Interior Ministry has confirmed it was hit by the "ransomware" attack, which encrypts data on infected computers and demands payment, usually via the digital currency bitcoin, to release it. Britain's health service was also hit hard Friday as the attack froze computers at hospitals across the country, shutting down wards, closing emergency rooms and bringing medical treatments to a screeching halt.

The malicious software appeared to exploit a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows that was supposedly identified by the US National Security Agency for its own intelligence-gathering purposes and was later leaked to the internet.

CERT's Senior communications advisor Izzi Lithgow said they were also upping support to businesses, organisations and individuals who may be affected.

The Scottish Government said there was no evidence patient data had been compromised following the attack and there have been no further reported problems.

  • Rogelio Becker