Ambulances diverted to North Mid Hospital following crippling cyber attack

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The virus exploits a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows software, first identified by the US National Security Agency. Also affected were railway stations, mail delivery, gas stations, hospitals, office buildings, shopping malls and government services.

“The global reach is unprecedented”.

“I’m anxious about how the numbers will continue to grow when people go to work and turn on their machines on Monday”, he said.

The original attack lost momentum late on Friday after a security researcher took control of a server connected to the outbreak, which crippled a feature that caused the malware to rapidly spread across infected networks. It is encrypting files and demanding that victims pay $300 worth of bitcoins to have the files unlocked.

He added: “The trust’s security measures that we have got in place are stable and still holding firm”. This hacking software is believed to be stolen or leaked from the NSA.

A statement from Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith on Sunday criticised the way governments store up information about security flaws in computer systems.

Microsoft’s lawyer says governments should “report vulnerabilities” that they discover to software companies, “rather than stockpile, sell, or exploit them”.

AP however reported that Microsoft’s top lawyer is laying some of the blame for the massive cyber attack at the feet of the U.S government.

“An equivalent scenario with conventional weapons would be the United States military having some of its Tomahawk missiles stolen”.

Europol Director Rob Wainwright told a British television program the attack was unique in that the ransomware was used in combination with “a worm functionality” so the infection spread automatically.

Shadow health secretary Jon Ashworth, in a letter to Mr Hunt, said concerns were repeatedly flagged about outdated computer systems and he accused the Government of “raiding” NHS capital budgets to fund day-to-day spending.

The attack therefore spread faster than previous, smaller-scale ransomware attacks.

The Japan Computer Emergency Response Team Coordination Center, a nonprofit group, said 2,000 computers at 600 locations in Japan were affected.

“This is not targeted at the NHS, its an worldwide attack and a number of countries and organisations have been affected”, British Prime Minister Theresa May said.

Carmaker Renault said one of its French plants, which employs 3,500 people, wasn’t reopening Monday as a “preventative step” while technicians deal with the aftermath of the attack.

England’s National Health Service said 47 organisations providing care had been hit and on Sunday afternoon seven hospitals were continuing to divert patients from the emergency room.

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