NHS cyber attack: Computer systems and phones down | Daily Mail Online

Conservative Party (UK)

Conservative Party (UK) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Daily Mail reports that NHS staff have claimed pop-up messages are appearing on screens saying the PC is ‘under control’ and they must pay a ransom to stop all the files being deleted.

NHS cyber attack: Computer systems and phones down | Daily Mail Online

Read the Mail article carefully and you will see an omni-shambles. Most disgraceful is Theresa May, saying that the attack is not unique to the NHS. In a similar attack last year in Los Angeles, ransom was paid over with the advice of the FBI but in the UK hospital trusts are being advised not to pay up. Instead of chairing a COBRA meeting, the UK prime minister is trying to deflect political flack ahead of the general election.

Across the country, hospitals have been severely compromised and patients lives are at risk. From the Mail article, it is clear that hospitals have not been used the latest software – this is a serious failing.

As a result of the Conservative government’s extended austerity policies, the NHS has faced massive financial cuts. The Health Minister is deeply unpopular. In international benchmarking studies, the UK’s public healthcare continues to decline, especially in areas like cancer treatment. On the other hand, there is enormous waste in the NHS, with widespread use of expensive agency staff, former NHS managers re-engaged as consultants, and huge legal settlements for professional negligence.

Theresa May called a snap election election, hoping to increase the Conservative Party majority and give her more clout against right-wingers pushing for a hard-Brexit. Now attention will be focused on the NHS – the evidence is overwhelming for the public, the Conservatives policies for public healthcare are in meltdown. It’s not clear whether Theresa May’s campaign slogan of ‘trust me’ will backfire in her face? Conspiracy theorists will wonder about a possible cyber-attack from a foreign power?

Thoughts?

One response

  1. The Conservative’s policies for the NHS are indeed in meltdown and the idea that it is going to be possible to fix things by listening to NHS England and throwing more money at it are deluded.

    David Cameron precipitated the crisis by failing to back Andrew Lansley,s carefully thought out reforms by sacking him and “listening to the healthcare professionals”.

    As Dr Alf knows they at directoral and managerial level are the source of the problem with the NHS along with Jeremy Hunt the Health Minister who is gullible enough to buy into the lies and special pleading of Simon Steven the CEO and Blairite appointee and those of the bewigged Chis Hopson whose utterances are no more real than his hair.

    People warned about cyber security when plans were put forward to centralise all patient records but were brushed aside.

    A week ago I attended a cyber security briefing by Bedfordshire police and even that small and inefficient force envisages 350 officers focussed on cyber crime within 5 years time versus about 19 now.

    Foreign powers like China have 5 million cyber warriors in the Peoples Liberation Army ,Russia’s GRU has 2 million and the NSA has 1 million.

    GCHQ has at best 12000 which can be inferred from the size of its buildings,the car parking arrangements and the fact that it is allowing people to leave and set up private sector companies such as Darktrace in Cambridge and Roke Manor Park in Hampshire.

    As a country we are inadequately prepared to deal with this new form of asymetric warfare and we have an inadequate state education system turning out blockheads rather than the skilled software engineers we need to combat the menace.

    The NHS,the subject this post is also not fit for purpose and some indicative action is needed before root and branch reform following the General Election.

    Firing Simon Steven and Chris Hopson and replacing them would be a start but a “signal ” is needed so that people do not think that this means business as usual.

    For me this means appointing a CEO from the military rather than someone from the N H S,Hopson’s post as spokesman would be filled by a Bell Pottinger appointee.

    It is too close to the election to fire Jeremy Hunt but someone from GCHQ if not appointed already needs to put in charge of IT and database security with Darktrace appointed to purge the network of hackers.

    Mrs May has not panicked but has failed to act with sufficient speed or ruthlessness.

    This lack of speed and decisiveness will cost her votes but she will probably still win after which she is going to have to step up at least 4 gears rather than dithering

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