Scotland

Robison: Cyber-attack on Scots NHS 'isolated'

computer screen with ransomware message Image copyright PA
Image caption The virus encrypted NHS information and denied access unless a payment was made

The cyber-attack that disrupted computers in most of Scotland's health boards on Friday has been isolated, the Scottish government has said.

Health Secretary Shona Robison said there was no evidence that patient data had been compromised.

Most NHS computers are expected to be operational by Monday, the minister added.

Other public bodies are checking their systems over the weekend as a precaution.

The Scottish government said in many NHS areas the number of computers affected was in single figures.

The worst hit health board appears to have been NHS Lanarkshire where the ransomware attack disrupted hospital computer systems.

Image copyright NHS Lanarkshire
Image caption People turning up at Hairmyres Hospital were urged to bring their medication with them because records were unavailable

BBC Scotland understands that at Hairmyres Hospital in East Kilbride doctors had to rely on pen, paper and mobile phones as they treated patients.

First minister Nicola Sturgeon and the Scottish health secretary have been kept updated on developments.

Scottish Justice Secretary Michael Matheson joined a session the UK government's Cobra emergency committee on Saturday afternoon.

The ransomware attack hit a range of organisations in at least 99 countries.

Ms Robison said: "This has been a global cyber-attack which has impacted on countries across the world and clearly any incident of this nature is hugely concerning - but it's important to stress that there is no evidence to suggest patient data has been compromised.

"This week's incident emphasises the importance for all of us - the public and private sectors as well as the general public - to have the appropriate measures in place to protect against these kinds of attack.

"We have taken all necessary steps to ensure the cause and nature of this attack is identified and have managed to isolate the issues within the NHS in Scotland.

"Boards are currently working on protecting and restoring those systems where possible, with a view to getting most operational by Monday."

The ransomware used in the attack is called WannaCry and attacks Windows operating systems.

It encrypts files on a user's computer, blocking them from view, before demanding money, via an on-screen message, to access them again.

The virus is usually covertly installed on to computers by hiding within emails containing links, which users are tricked into opening.


Which Scottish NHS organisations were affected by the ransomware attack?

  • NHS Borders,
  • NHS Dumfries and Galloway
  • NHS Fife
  • NHS Forth Valley
  • NHS Lanarkshire
  • NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde
  • NHS Tayside
  • NHS Western Isles
  • NHS Highlands
  • NHS Grampian
  • NHS Ayrshire and Arran
  • NHS National Services
  • Scottish Ambulance Service

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