Cyber attack on Stevenage’s Lister Hospital part of an assault on computer systems across the globe

PUBLISHED: 18:51 12 May 2017 | UPDATED: 22:17 12 May 2017

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The cyber attack on Stevenage’s Lister Hospital this afternoon appears to have been part of an orchestrated global attack on computer systems at hospitals, universities, businesses and other organisations.

The attack has made headlines across the world. The attack has made headlines across the world.

The attackers appear to have launched a piece of malware on computers that locks them up and demands a payment in Bitcoin.

There have been reports of infections in the UK, US, China, Russia, Spain, Italy, Vietnam, Taiwan and others.

Security researchers are linking the incidents together.

Patient data at GP surgeries and at many hospitals has been scrambled.

Stephen McPartland Stephen McPartland

NHS sources have confirmed that a block for the malware can be quickly installed, but there is no indication yet of how long it will take to fix systems already affected.

People are being turned away from A&E at many hospitals including the Lister in Stevenage and sent to unaffected clinics.

The East and North Herts NHS Trust, which runs the Coreys Mill Lane hospital, is encouraging patients not to go to A&E, but in an emergency to call 999 and for non urgent care to call NHS 111.

Conservative parliamentary candidate Stephen McPartland said: “This is a disgusting attack by cowards on hardworking staff and patients in need of treatment.

Sharon Taylor Sharon Taylor

“It is designed solely to disrupt and terrorise people indiscriminately as it has hit a number of countries. The Lister is one of the most modern and advanced facilities in the UK, so will be vulnerable to such activity. However, the staff are doing a fantastic job to take pre-emptive action and ensure patients get the help they need.”

Councillor Sharon Taylor, Stevenage Borough Council leader and Labour Party parliamentary candidate, told this paper she was appalled by the attack.

“How unbelievably sick that people would put lives at risk in this way,” she said.

“Anybody that could commit such a disgusting, shocking act is just shameful.”

She said she felt sympathy for all those who work in the NHS who have put put under extra pressure by the attack and called for a full review of computer systems at hospitals so this cannot happen again.

NHS Digital is currently investigating the incident.

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2 comments

  • First of all - that photo of the keyboard in the article. You seriously need to clean that or bin it and buy a new one. Disgusting. Second, the security hole that the virus took advantage of was patched TWO MONTHS AGO. I believe many NHS clients may run Windows XP(?) and the NHS may not have renewed their extended support plan with Microsoft due to budget constraints. So yes, it's still Hunt's fault. Keep your systems and anti-virus software updated on a very regular basis folks. Always be suspicious of opening attachments from unknown sources. If someone call you 'from Microsoft' and tells you they need to remote on to your PC to fix some problems tell them to do one and hang up.

    Report this comment

    Trevor Philips

    Sunday, May 14, 2017

  • These attacks are always being made and the fact is that the Tory government has failed to invest in up-to-date IT for the NHS - all part of the financial squeeze. Recently I have been visiting someone in hospital and as an ex IT Manager I have been shocked about just how poor Lister's use of IT is. It is as if tablets and even PDA's have not been invented. Let's hope the hospital has a good contingency plan. Perhaps Mrs May should concentrate on ensuring the NHS has 'strong and stable' IT!

    Report this comment

    patrick newman

    Saturday, May 13, 2017

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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