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London Hospital Cyber Attack: ‘Fix NHS Gaps or Face More Attacks’- Ex-Cyber Chief

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A cybersecurity expert has warned that the NHS remains vulnerable after the June 3 London Hospital Cyber Attack on London hospitals.

The evaluation of the NHS’ cyber defences comes after a Russian criminal group attacked London hospitals with “a major ransomware attack”, the BBC reports.

In a story by the BBC, it said: “NHS England declared it a regional incident, resulting in 4,913 acute outpatient appointments and 1,391 operations postponed and major data security concerns.”

You can read the full story here  

What has the Ex-Cyber Chief said about the London Hospital Cyber Attack?

Prof Ciaran Martin, the founding CEO of the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), told the BBC: “I was horrified, but not completely surprised. Ransomware attacks on healthcare are a major global problem.

“In parts of the NHS estate, it’s quite clear that some of the IT is out of date.

“Those little things make the point of entry quite a lot harder for the thugs to get in.

“It was obvious that this was going to be one of the most serious cyber incidents in British history because of the disruption to healthcare.”

Who was behind the London Hospital Cyber Attack?

It is alleged that a Russian-based hacking group Qilin is a Kremlin-protected cyber army and demanded a £40m ransom. When the NHS refused to pay, the group published stolen data on the dark web.  

Dr Daniel Gardham from the Surrey Centre for Cyber Security said: “If you have old computers, then simply put, there’s going to be unpatched vulnerabilities.

“This means that there are ways in for attackers.

“It could be something really, really, simple and actually most likely it is something very, very, simple.

“It would be one person, perhaps, that had a weak password or left their computer unattended in a cafe.

“A lot of cyber security attacks are not sophisticated.”

You can read our previous story about the cyber attack here

An NHS England spokesperson told the BBC: “We are increasing cyber resilience across the NHS and over £338 million has been invested over the past seven years to help keep health and care organisations as safe as possible.

“Our ambitious Cyber Improvement Programme will support the NHS to respond to the changing cyber threats, expand protection and reduce the risk of a successful attack.”

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