UK working to restore hospital systems after cyberattack

A screenshot of the warning screen from a purported ransomware attack as captured by a computer user in Taiwan is seen on laptop in Beijing Saturday

A screenshot of the warning screen from a purported ransomware attack as captured by a computer user in Taiwan is seen on laptop in Beijing Saturday

Images appeared on victims' screens demanding payment of $300 (275 euros) in Bitcoin, saying: "Ooops, your files have been encrypted!"

Jakub Kroustek of the security firm Avast said in a blog post update around 2000 GMT, "We are now seeing more than 75,000 detections... in 99 countries".

Hospitals and clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) in London, Blackpool, Hertfordshire and Derbyshire were among those to report problems.

Alan Woodward, visiting professor of computing at the University of Surrey, said there was evidence the ransomware was spreading using a Microsoft flaw exposed in a recent leak of information from USA intelligence agencies.

Britain's national health service fell victim, its hospitals forced to close wards and emergency rooms and turn away patients.

A statement from East Cheshire NHS said: "Like other NHS organisations we are experiencing IT disruption in some areas of the trust".

Only a small number of USA -headquartered organizations were hit because the hackers appear to have begun the campaign by targeting organizations in Europe, said Thakur.

Infections of the worm appeared to have fallen off significantly after a security researcher bought a domain that the malware was connecting to, by chance undermining the malware's effectiveness.

- On Saturday morning, The US Computer Emergency Readiness Team (USCRT) which comes under the Department of Homeland Security received multiple reports of WannaCry ransomware infections in many countries around the world.

Tens of thousands of ransomware attacks Friday targeted organizations around the world, including 16 that are part of the National Health Service.

Portugal Telecom, the delivery company FedEx and a Swedish local authority were also affected.

It was reported that hackers known as The Shadow Brokers claimed in April to have stolen the NSA tools and released them online. NHS England described the incident as a "ransomware" attack. It issued a patch on March 14 to protect them from Eternal Blue.

"The investigation is at an early stage but we believe the malware variant is Wanna Decryptor", NHS Digital, the computer arm of the English health service, said in a statement. "We will keep you updated". The hack has not directly affected the company's millions of clients.

Though 45 health service organisations in England and Scotland were affected by malicious software, no patient data has been accessed or transferred, said Rudd.

A SECOND Oxford trust has confirmed that it will "take steps" after an worldwide cyber attack struck the NHS in England. Russia's Interior Ministry said Friday it had come under cyberattack. Russian Federation has reported that its 1,000 interior ministry computer were affected.

Meanwhile, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has led the discussion on NSA's role and responsibility in Friday's extensive cyberattacks, noting that if the NSA had "privately disclosed the flaw used to attack hospitals when they found it, not when they lost it, this may not have happened".

How has it affected hospital patients?

"Seeing a large telco like Telefonica get hit is going to get everybody anxious".

It is believed that as many as 45 NHS organisations in the United Kingdom are under a "cyber-attack" and Cheshire and Wirral Partnership has confirmed that it is one of the organisations experiencing "IT disruption".

According to security experts, the ransomware exploits a vulnerability that was discovered and developed by the National Security Agency.

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