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NCSC urges vigilance in wake of cyber attack


On Friday, 47 English trusts were victim to the attack and 13 NHS organisations in Scotland were also affected.

NHS Digital has announced updated guidelines on protecting against future cyber-attacks including instructions to install a patch to protect systems against further attacks and malicious viruses.

Governments and computer experts girded Monday for a possible worsening of the global cyberattack that has hit more than 150 countries, as Microsoft warned against stockpiling vulnerabilities like the one at the heart of the crisis.

More than 200,000 victims in around 150 countries have been infected by the ransomware which originated in the United Kingdom and Spain on Friday, before spreading globally.

Friday's extortion attack, which locked up computers and held users' files for ransom, is believed to be the biggest of its kind ever recorded.

Europol, the EU's law enforcement agency, has called the cyber attack the "largest ransomware attack observed in history".

"We will get a decryption tool eventually, but for the moment, it's still a live threat and we're still in disaster recovery mode", the report quoted Europol Director Rob Wainwright as saying.

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An NHS IT worker told the Guardian that users experienced a "bitcoin virus pop-up", demanding payment before they could access their PCs.

In a statement online the trust said: "Following the ransomware attack, the Trust is now working to ensure that all IT systems affected are brought online again as soon as possible, and thanks patients for their understanding during this time".

A feared second spike in the attack failed to materialize on Monday but the healthcare system was still disrupted.

"It's why we are putting £2 billion [$2.6 billion] into cyber-security over the coming years and, of course, created the National Cyber Security Centre".

He also warned hackers could upgrade the virus to remove the "kill switch" that helped to stop it.

But computers and networks that didn't update their systems remained at risk.

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