WannaCrypt raises questions over government cyber priorities

May 17, 2017 · techcrunch.com

Ransomware

The fallout from the WannaCrypt ransomware attack which quickly spread to multiple countries and systems last Friday continues to cause consternation around the world.

In the UK scores of National Health Service Trusts were infected, leading to routine appointments being canceled and huge concern over the robustness of critical healthcare systems that are still running on a fifteen-year-old software platform (Windows XP) which is vulnerable to the exploit.

Critics have suggested a lack of government funding has left the NHS wide open to malware attacks that exploit outdated software.

UK Home Secretary, Amber Rudd, sought to rebut that criticism a few days ago, arguing that the success of the WannaCrypt attack on NHS’ systems is nothing to do with "our preparedness".

"If you look at who has been impacted by this virus it is a huge variety across different industries and across different international governments. This is a virus that has attacked window platforms, the fact is that the NHS has fallen victim to this. I don’t believe it is to do with our preparedness. There is always more we can all do to make sure we are secure against viruses but I think there has already been good preparations in place by the NHS to make sure they were ready for this sort of attack," she said in a statement at the weekend.

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