A widespread ransomware attack hit multiple countries across the globe on Friday, locking up computers and ransoming access in exchange for large Bitcoin payments, and also hit the UK’s National Health Service, affecting computers at hospitals and doctors’ offices.
Screenshots shared of the attack show the ransomware program Wanna Cry was used. Officials noted that the attack that the NHS was not specifically targeted in the attack and that the attack was “affecting organisations from across a range of sectors.”
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.
In their statement on the attacks, the NHS noted that they do not believe patient data was accessed as part of the attack.
UK Prime Minister Theresa May confirmed that the NHS attack was part of the attack that was affecting other businesses around the world.
BREAKING: UK Prime Minister Theresa May says hospital cyberattack part of wider international attack.
The Associated Press (@AP) May 12, 2017
Multiple media reports, including from the New York Times and the Financial Times, have said that the attack was executed using a Windows exploit developed and used by the NSA and later leaked by the Shadow Brokers group.
Tom Cheshire (@chesh) May 12, 2017
Early reports of the spread of the attack proved to be true as, all told, over 70 countries, including Spain, Japan, the United States, and Russia were affected by the attack.
Before it’s over, it could prove to be the largest malware attack ever.
Another map gives you an indication of how widespread the attack was.
Spanish telecommunications company Telefnica was another victim of the attacks, according to a Spanish news report.
As for the U.S., the FBI isn’t saying much but the Department of Homeland Security are aware of the attack an investigating.
UPDATE (2:15 pm ET): Updated to include confirmation that attack on NHS service in UK was part of the larger attack and that leaked NSA tool was used in the attack.
UPDATE (4:35 pm ET): Added additional details.