Search

North Korea ‘directly responsible’ for global WannaCry cyber attack which hit Norfolk hospitals, says USA

PUBLISHED: 08:56 19 December 2017 | UPDATED: 09:04 19 December 2017

The United States has publicly blamed North Korea for the WannaCry cyber attack which hit the James Paget University Hospital (JPUH) in Gorleston. Photo: PA/Nick Butcher

The United States has publicly blamed North Korea for the WannaCry cyber attack which hit the James Paget University Hospital (JPUH) in Gorleston. Photo: PA/Nick Butcher

PA/Nick Butcher

The United States has publicly blamed North Korea for the WannaCry cyber attack which hit the James Paget University Hospital (JPUH) in Gorleston.

President Donald Trump’s homeland security adviser, Tom Bossert, said the country was “directly responsible” for the ransomware attack that hit 81 out of 236 NHS trusts in England, plus a further 595 GP practices.

JPUH was one of the hospitals across the country hit, which caused all weekend appointments to be cancelled.

At the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital there was minor disruption with eight computers affected.

Mr Bossert was writing in the Wall Street Journal as Mr Trump unveiled a new US national security strategy which includes strengthening the country’s cyber defence capabilities.

“After careful investigation, the US today publicly attributes the massive WannaCry cyber attack to North Korea,” the adviser wrote.

“The attack spread indiscriminately across the world in May. It encrypted and rendered useless hundreds of thousands of computers in hospitals, schools, businesses and homes.

“While victims received ransom demands, paying did not unlock their computers. It was cowardly, costly and careless. The attack was widespread and cost billions, and North Korea is directly responsible.”

In October, Home Office minister Ben Wallace said the UK Government believed “quite strongly” that a foreign state was behind the cyber attack and named North Korea.

Pyongyang had been widely blamed for the cyber attack in security circles, and Microsoft’s president, Brad Smith, also pointed the finger at Kim Jong Un’s secretive state.

A National Audit Office (NAO) report released in October found almost 19,500 medical appointments, including 139 potential cancer referrals, were estimated to have been cancelled, with five hospitals having to divert ambulances away after being locked out of computers.

However, the report found the attack could have been prevented if “basic IT security” measures had been taken.

All infected machines were running computer systems - the majority Windows 7 - that had not been updated to secure them against such attacks.

Mr Wallace suggested the attack could have been motivated by an attempt by the economically isolated North Korean state to access foreign funds.

Other news

53 minutes ago

Witnesses to a theft in Lowestoft which saw four iPhones stolen are being urged to come forward.

A Suffolk school has raised more than £1,300 for a Southwold youth charity through a sponsored walk.

A wildlife trust’s visionary plan to create a vast new nature reserve on the fringes of Lowestoft is to go-ahead thanks to a grant of more than £4m, it is revealed today.

11:24

Colleges in the region have warned their tight budgets are being spread even thinner, as they fight to stop the impact creeping into the classroom.

Most Read

A wildlife trust’s visionary plan to create a vast new nature reserve on the fringes of Lowestoft is to go-ahead thanks to a grant of more than £4m, it is revealed today.

Read more
Heritage Lottery Fund
53 minutes ago

Witnesses to a theft in Lowestoft which saw four iPhones stolen are being urged to come forward.

Read more
Lowestoft police
Yesterday, 17:35

Hundreds of Scouts, Cubs, Beavers and their leaders have proudly put their best foot forward to celebrate their patron saint St George.

Read more
Peter Aldous
Thursday, April 19, 2018

Horn Hill in Lowestoft was the worst street for reported crime in the whole of Waveney in the last year.

Read more
Suffolk Police

Organisers of a new scheme tackling loneliness in Suffolk have been left “buzzing” after 11 venues signed up to host events – including five launching today.

Read more
Sudbury

Later in Life

cover

Click here to view
the Later in Life
supplement

View

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 11°C

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Lowestoft Journal
e-edition today

Subscribe

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter