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Attack on Supplier Leaves NHS Recovering Services

A cyber attack first detected last Thursday has caused a “serious” computer glitch affecting businesses of the National Health Service. A number of health and wellness systems provided by enterprise software and services provider Advanced are currently reported to be experiencing serious disruptions. NHS England spokesman said “disruption is minimal” at the moment.

Attack on Supplier Leaves NHS Recovering Services

A cyber attack first detected last Thursday has caused a “serious” computer glitch affecting businesses of the National Health Service, including the 111 phone line. A number of health and wellness systems provided by enterprise software and services provider Advanced are currently reported to be experiencing serious disruptions. According to Digital Health Intelligence, they have 26 NHS clients and serve thousands of healthcare professionals. The company’s Adastra software works on 85% of NHS 111 services where the service was hacked. Adastra is used to refer patients for treatment, including making out-of-hours appointments, writing emergency prescriptions and dispatching an ambulance. Neither NHS England nor Advance initially confirmed reports that a cyber attack was to blame. But last Friday, Simon Short, advance’s chief operating officer, confirmed that the incident was caused by a cyberattack, adding that the company had taken actions that prevented the attack and that “no other issues were found.” An NHS England spokesman said NHS 111 services were still available and “disruption is minimal” at the moment, adding that “tried and verified contingency plans are being developed for local areas using the service.” In 2017, the National Health Service was hit by a massive cyber attack carried out by the WannaCry ransomware gang. Javvad Malik, lead security awareness raising at Knowbe4, says: “The 111 failure causes many unpleasant memories of Wannacry, which damaged the National Health Service. Although no details have been disclosed about the reason for the disabling of the service 111, all signs seem to indicate that the reason for this is ransomware. “You need to look at the underlying causes of seizures and try to deal with them. This can be achieved by implementing stronger authentication, implementing a patch management process, and launching a security awareness program and staff training to create a security culture that allows security issues to be identified and responded to quickly. “

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