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Blood tests to resume at NHS cyber attack hospitals from tomorrow

19 May 2017

"As a result, cybercriminals will continue their activity and look for new ways to exploit systems that result in more infections and more money in their accounts", Europol said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Irish hospitals suspected of being hit by the global cyber attack had been targeted by a different, older virus, health chiefs have revealed.

However, practices across the North East are still asking patients to consider delaying contacting their practice unless they really need to for the next few days to allow time to clear backlogs caused by the cyber-attack.

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NHS Grampian said it remains "completely confident" no patient data was accessed in the ransomware attack, which hit 13 health boards across the country and countless nationwide, leaving some with a backlog of postponed appointments to contend with. Questions have been raised over Trident's vulnerability to potential cyber attacks, as the system is believed to use ageing Window's XP software - the same operating system targeted by the global ransomware attack.

In England, 48 National Health Service (NHS) trusts reported problems at hospitals, GP surgeries or pharmacies, and 13 NHS organisations in Scotland were also affected.

Speaking to ITV's "Peston on Sunday", Europol director Rob Wainwright said the attack was indiscriminate across the private and public sectors.

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"We're in the face of an escalating threat, the numbers are going up", he said, and added that the current attack was unprecedented.

Specifically pointing to US intelligence agencies, Smith said the worldwide hack "provides yet another example of why the stockpiling of vulnerabilities by governments is such a problem".

Dr Dreyfus said Windows computers that don't have the latest security patches were vulnerable to the bug, urging Australians to ensure their antivirus software was up to date.

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The spokesman said that the National Cyber Security Centre in the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment is "monitoring the situation on an ongoing basis".