Ransomware crashes UK health system’s PCs

An infection of NHS Trust devices is putting a strain on citizens' privacy and security, blame it on a failure to update Windows

A virus inside a hospital is not news. There couldn't be a better place in the world to find a cure. The problem is that the infections in question are not bacterial but electronic. In fact, the UK's national system has been hit by several ransomware outbreaks that have locked down devices.

Ransomware in health system PCs. Breaking the news of a massive infection of its devices due to a virus was the same British health organization in a web release. These are exclusively PCs with Windows XP operating system and have been locked through the use of ransomware. For those unfamiliar with them, ransomware is a type of malware that infects the PC and restricts access, requiring a ransom to be paid in order to get back to using the device. The company let it know that it is investigating the possible cyber criminals behind the attack and reassured the public that the devices are working properly for diagnosis and treatment.

Security holes on Windows XP

The main problem for these large institutions is the use of computers with old operating systems that now present a limitation for security. It should not be forgotten that the NHS contains a myriad of sensitive citizen data that can be used by hackers in a variety of ways. In the specific case of NHS Trust, the affected computers were only those that were not updated to the latest Windows versions. This happens not only in the British healthcare system but also in many offices of institutions and associations. The problem is often the cost of updating and compatibility with applications and tools that have been used for years. A failure to update that, as demonstrated by the NHS Trust case, can seriously jeopardize the privacy of citizens and their security on the Web. Just starting from those institutions that first should protect it.