LONDON, United Kingdom (Kurdistan24) – A malware cyber-attack on Friday swept across organizations around the world, with nearly 100 countries affected.
The virus targeted over 40 hospitals in the UK with a ransom of USD $300 being requested by hackers for victims to recover important medical files.
The National Health Service (NHS) in the UK was questioned over the vulnerability of its hospital computer systems which fell prey to the global cyber-attack.
Patients were denied access to hospitals as the staff was left in a state of chaos, attempting to regain access to medical records.
According to the Telegraph, hundreds of operations and appointments were canceled, and ambulances were diverted as doctors warned the ransomware attack “could cost lives."
Researchers claimed it was “the biggest ransomware outbreak in history” with nearly 57,000 infections observed in 99 countries, including the US and Russia.
The hackers threatened to delete valuable information unless a payment was made in the internet currency of Bitcoin.
Meanwhile, the US Department of Homeland Security offered to “lend technical support” to the NHS to stop the attack.
The Prime Minister of the UK Theresa May called the global cyber-attack “intentional.”
“We are aware that a number of NHS organizations have reported that they have suffered from a ransomware attack,” she said.
“This was not targeted at the NHS, it’s an international attack, and a number of countries and organizations have been affected,” May added.
The Prime Minister also addressed concerns over the safety and security of patient information.
“We are not aware of any evidence that patient data has been compromised,” she informed.
Editing by G. H. Renaud