Ransomware: How the NHS learned the lessons of WannaCry to protect hospitals from attack


Danny Palmer

Four years ago, the UK's National Health Service suddenly found itself one of the most high profile victims of a global cyber attack.

On 12 May 2017, WannaCry ransomware hit organisations around the world, but hospitals and GP surgeries throughout England and Scotland were particularly badly affected. A significant number of services were disrupted as malware encrypted computers used by NHS trusts, forcing thousands of appointments to be cancelled and ambulances to be rerouted.

Wannacry was launched by North Korea which used EternalBlue, a leaked NSA hacking tool, to spread as far and wide as possible – and it just so happened that many NHS Trusts were running Windows machines which had yet to receive the critical security patch released by Microsoft earlier.

It was and still is the largest cyber attack to hit...

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