Ransomware shuts down the British health system: hospitals out of action

After the attack in Spain, also the United Kingdom pays toll to hackers. Knocked out the health system, closed hospitals forced to postpone operations

Quite an intense day on the cybersecurity front. After the morning attack that put out of order the internal networks of Telefonica, Vodafone and other Spanish companies, in the afternoon hackers have hit the British health system (NHS), sending it completely (or almost) in tilt.

In the space of a few tens of minutes, almost all the computers of the hospitals and health centers present in the British archipelago due to the rapid spread of a ransomware attack. The malfunction caused by the ransomware virus not only knocked out the computer network, but also rendered phone lines unusable. To avoid chaos and confusion, the NHS urged citizens not to go to hospitals and emergency rooms unless there was a serious and very serious emergency. On many occasions, the health directorates preferred to postpone routine operations, preferring to give priority to the most serious situations.

Details about the attack on the NHS

Late in the afternoon came also the official statement of the British health system, in which some details of the hacker attack are reported. The virus responsible for the digital chaos would be a variant of the Wanna cryptolocker and the NHS would not be the only organization to have been affected. According to some information, in fact, the malware is the same one that has knocked out the networks of Telefonica in Spain and has attacked other institutions in Russia, Ukraine and also in Italy. The hackers also reportedly demanded blackmail in Bitcoin, but it is unclear how much was demanded and whether it was granted.