Lister Hospital in Stevenage one of 14 sites across UK affected by cyber attack amid hacker ransom claims

PUBLISHED: 16:56 12 May 2017 | UPDATED: 17:59 12 May 2017

Lister Hospital in Stevenage is one of 14 NHS sites confirmed as affected by a cyber attack.

Lister Hospital in Stevenage is one of 14 NHS sites confirmed as affected by a cyber attack.

Danny Loo Photography 2017

Lister Hospital in Stevenage is just one of many hospitals across the UK to be hit by a cyber attack today, amid claims the hackers have demanded a ransom.

As well as the Coreys Mill Lane hospital – which has disabled its telephone and computer systems in a bid to fend off the attack – trusts and hospitals in London, Blackburn, Nottingham and Cumbria have also been affected.

NHS Digital has said that 16 sites have been confirmed as affected so far, adding: “A number of NHS organisations have reported to NHS Digital that they have been affected by a ransomware attack.

“The investigation is at an early stage but we believe the malware variant is Wanna Decryptor.

“This attack was not specifically targeted at the NHS and is affecting organisations from across a range of sectors.

“At this stage we do not have any evidence that patient data has been accessed.

“NHS Digital is working closely with the National Cyber Security Centre, the Department of Health and NHS England to support affected organisations and ensure patient safety is protected.

“Our focus is on supporting organisations to manage the incident swiftly and decisively, but we will continue to communicate with NHS colleagues and will share more information as it becomes available.”

The East and North Herts NHS Trust has also issued a statement, saying: “Immediately on discovery of the problem, the NHS trust acted to protect its IT systems by shutting them down; it also meant that the NHS trust’s telephone system is not able to accept incoming calls.

“We are postponing all non-urgent activity for today and asking people not to come to A&E.

“To ensure that all back-up processes and procedures were put in place quickly, we declared a major internal incident to make sure that patients already in the NHS trust’s hospitals continued to receive the care they need.

“In the meantime, the NHS trust’s IT specialists are working to resolve the problem as quickly as possible.”

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