NHS Hit Again…
The largest medical facility in England, NHS, has been known as one of the largest targets for cyber security threats. After being hit over and over again with various forms of malware, NHS was infected again on Friday, January 13, 2017.
Although initial reports were of a ransomware attack, officials reported they do not believe the this was a result of a ransomware infection. The exact nature of the malware attack is unknown at this time. However, NHS did confirm to IT Pro, pieces of their systems were taken offline until the source is able to be identified and proper remediation can take place.
This malware attack left thousands of files compromised. All of these files were stored on computers with a Windows XP operating system – begging the question, are the outdated systems to blame for the infection? The issue with running Windows XP, is the lack of support and updates for the system. Since updates are not available the vulnerabilities left within the system, remain exposed. This obviously creates a massive security gap for those who continue using this OS.
This attack comes just months after ransomware took three different NHS hospitals offline.
NHS is not a new target. They’re just easily infected, due to leaving the door open for cyber criminals to return. In a perfect world, PC users would increase their cyber security efforts after a malware infection takes place. This could be changing their security solution, running daily updates, backing up data daily, creating system restore points, and/or updating their entire operating system.
What is NHS doing to prevent this from happening again? It is strongly advised, they stop using Windows XP. Not because it is a bad OS, but because of the inability for it to be updated. Without updates, the vulnerabilities cyber criminals are potentially using, remain exposed.