NORTH Korea was behind the crippling WannaCry cyber hack that plunged the NHS into chaos, a minister claimed today.
Minister of State for Security Ben Wallace said the government was holding the secret state responsible for the global attack.
A minister has claimed North Korea is behind the crippling NHS cyber attack
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “This attack, we believe quite strongly that it came from a foreign state.
“North Korea was the state that we believe was involved this worldwide attack.”
Wallace confirmed officials were “as sure as possible” and that “it is widely believed in the community and across a number of countries that North Korea had taken this role”.
“North Korea has been potentially linked to other attacks about raising foreign currency,” he added.
A huge cyber attack plunged the NHS into chaos and took down thousands of systems worldwide
The head of the National Audit Office warned the health service and Department of Health to “get their act together” in the wake of the WannaCry crisis, or risk suffering a more sophisticated and damaging future attack.
More than 19,000 medical appointments – including 139 potential cancer referrals – were cancelled when the NHS was locked out of computers on May 12.
Around a fifth of NHS trusts were affected by the global cyber attack as people were turned away from appointments and surgeries
The malware virus took control of thousands of computers – demanding a ransom of £230 ($300) per individual computer.
It is believed to have infected machines at 81 health trusts across England – a third of the 236 total, plus computers at almost 600 GP surgeries, the NAO found.
Ambulances had to diverted away from five hospitals following the largest cyber attack to ever hit the NHS.
Sir Amyas Morse, the head of the NAO, said: “The WannaCry cyber attack had potentially serious implications for the NHS and its ability to provide care to patients.
“It was a relatively unsophisticated attack and could have been prevented by the NHS following basic IT security best practice.
“There are more sophisticated cyber threats out there than WannaCry so the Department (of Health) and the NHS need to get their act together to ensure the NHS is better protected against future attacks.”
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