Companies prepare for more ransomware attacks on Monday
00:27, May 17, 2017
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The attack on Friday saw ambulances diverted and operations cancelled up and down the country.
The East and North Herts NHS Trust, which runs the Lister, was among those affected.
A screenshot of the site after the IT system went down.
In the United Kingdom, 45 organisations in the National Health Service were affected, Home Secretary Amber Rudd said on Saturday, and hospitals in London, North West England and Central England urged people with non-emergency conditions to stay away as technicians tried to stop the spread of the malicious software.
"GPs, of course, can still diagnose and treat patients without using computers but we ask our patients to bear with us if routine services such as repeat prescriptions and appointment booking services are slightly disrupted this week", she said.
People are advised to attend any hospital or doctor appointments as normal, unless they are contacted and told not to.
The virus reportedly struck up to 70,000 devices across the health service in the UK.
In total 47 NHS organisations reported being affected - and the disruption is continuing into the new working week.
"It seems inconceivable that organisations such as the NHS are prepared to jeopardise highly confidential patient data or critical infrastructure through inadequate cyber security that relies heavily on out-dated anti-virus technologies, when effective alternatives like file-regeneration are available".
In the wake of the weekend's ransomware attacks [dubbed WannaCry] that hit multiple industries and services in 150 countries worldwide, Europol chief Rob Wainwright has urged organizations to patch their systems amid concerns about continuing attacks.
We have warned for some time now that the health sector in many countries is particularly vulnerable, and they process a lot of sensitive information. The "kill switch" that stopped it spreading -accidentally discovered by a security researcher - may have been meant to stop the virus working if captured and put in what's called a sandbox - a safe place where security experts put computer malware to watch what they do - but not applied properly.
The latest malware, called WannaCrypt or WannaCry, is spread by taking advantage of a Windows vulnerability that Microsoft released a security patch for in March.
The WannaCry virus infects only machines running Windows operating systems.
"We know, of course, that these things can start with what is called "spear fishing" email attacks", he said.
"The recent attack is at an unprecedented level and will require a complex global investigation to identify the culprits", said a statement issued by Europol, Europe's police agency. In this instance patients may experience some delays in getting through.
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