The United Kingdom seems plenty convinced that the WannaCry cyber-attack that hit the National Health Services systems was conducted by North Korea. Officials in Britain said this yesterday, and further added that the attack spread to over 150 nations across the globe. While speaking to the BBC, Ben Wallace who is the security minister said that his country alongside other nations that experienced the attack are quite certain that North Korea was responsible for unleashing the ransomware. Some of the areas that the ransomware crippled included universities in China, the interior ministry of Russia as well as Germany rail systems. He emphasized that the attack came from as foreign state with the most capable suspect being North Korea. While asked by the BBC to explain what evidence led to these conclusions, the minister declined to explain. He said that it would be unprofessional to go to the details of the intelligence. Furthermore, he said that this is an investigation involving many countries that have come up to the same conclusion. The cyber-attack was carried out on 12th May affecting thousands of computers around the globe. However, the hardest hit system was the NHS of the United Kingdom. It’s believed that the hackers managed to exploit the weak security system that was being used by the NHS back then. The NHS was using a Windows XP system, and this made it easy to send emails that were effective in locking users out of the system.
Once the information was encrypted, the hackers demanded that they be paid over $300 and should have been paid in the form of a Bitcoin if they were to unlock the devices. What this caused in Britain is sudden cancellation of patients operations as well as delays. This meant that it was very difficult to seek essential medical data related to a certain patient. This also happened when it was necessary to retrieve the patient history. As a result, nearly 6,900 appointments had to be canceled. This is according to the information that was released by Britain’s National Audit Office. The report further explained that a third of the NHS operations were affected during the attack. This translates to 19,000 appointments that were affected in one way or the other. However, the security minister confirmed to the BBC that no information about the patient was compromised during the attack. The security minister then said that at times it’s difficult to respond to a cyber-attack of that magnitude especially considering that it’s been conducted by a hostile state.