The NHS has been hacked, staff say “Unless this is sorted quickly there will be patient death across the country.”

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“SO much is on those computer systems. Appointments, treatment plans, scan results: some hospitals have gone completely computer based and use it for notes & prescriptions.”

The NHS has been hit by multiple hacking attacks. The malware freezes the NHS  computers then requests payment before allowing access again. IT firms are already confirming that British patients have been affected. 

A Freedom of Information request was sent to England’s 253 NHS trusts. Of the 158 who responded (62.5%), a total of 125 providers agreed to supply their data on cyber-attacks, while 33 either withheld information or didn’t collect it altogether. Those that supplied their data revealed a worrying trend of rising attacks in the NHS, with figures more than quadrupling since 2013-14.

Cyber-attacks have been occurring with increasing regularity. The number of atacks on the NHS grew from 1,565 reported cases in 2013/14 to 7,178 in 2016/17. This data does not include the 100s of thousands of unsuccessful phishing attempts hopitals in the NHS face every day.

“I WAS WORKING ON THE WARDS THIS MORNING, CURRENTLY IN THE HOSPITAL LIBRARY. HALF TEMPTED TO SEE HOW THE CLINICAL SERVICES ARE COPING BUT I KNOW IT’LL BE CHAOTIC ENOUGH ALREADY.”

There is a much greater awareness amongst NHS staff about cyber security than there was 5-10 years ago. For example, Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent NHS Trust said the 40 phishing emails detected so far in 2016-17 were mostly reported by staff due to an “increased effort to raise awareness of email security”.

NHS staff have posted screenshots which show a screen demanding $300 (£230) in Bitcoin in an imitation of other Healthcare hacks. Similar malware has struck the sick and ill before, hitting 3 U.S. hospitals in 2016.

“UNLESS THIS IS SORTED VERY QUICKLY, THERE WILL BE PATIENT DEATH & SUFFERING ACROSS THE COUNTRY.”

More to follow.

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