Ransomeware attacks lock up UK hospitals, businesses across the globe

A widespread ransomware attack hit multiple European countries on Friday, locking up computers and ransoming access in exchange for large Bitcoin payments, while another attack has hit the UK’s National Health Service, affecting computers at hospitals and doctors’ offices.

Screenshots shared of both sets of attacks show the ransomware program Wanna Cry was used in each, but, as of now, there’s no report officially connecting the larger attack across Europe to the one that helped take down the NHS computers. 

Officials have added that the attack that affected the NHS was not specifically targeting just the NHS.

The attack on UK hospitals is significant in how it’s affected the hospitals’ ability to treat emergency patients. According to The Guardian, schedules, patient files, and phone and email systems have been blocked from access and there is rerouting of emergency patients taking place.  

Some initial reports are that the attack could have been executed using a Windows exploit that was outlined in recent NSA document leaks. 

One expert tweeted that there had been thousands of reports of attacks across many European and Asian countries. 

Another map indicated that some of the attacks had even hit locations in the United States.

Spanish telecommunications company Telefónica was another victim of the attacks, according to a Spanish news report. 

This is a developing story…

window._msla=window.loadScriptAsync||function(src,id){if(document.getElementById(id))return;var js=document.createElement(‘script’);js.id=id;js.src=src;document.getElementsByTagName(‘script’)[0].parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);};