UK Auditors Blast NHS ‘Basic’ Security Failures Over WannaCry Cyberattack
The UK’s National Audit Office (NAO) has said the country’s health service failed
to “follow best practices” to prevent the WannaCry cyberattack. The National Health Service (NHS) was one of the first major victims of May’s international Bitcoin ransomware, which demanded users pay $300 in order to regain access to infected computers. Despite being a “relatively unsophisticated attack,” the NAO said in a new report, the NHS was easy prey. WannaCry “could have been prevented by the NHS following basic IT security best practice.”
“There are more sophisticated cyber-threats out there than WannaCry, so the Department (of Health) and the NHS need to get their act together to ensure the NHS is better protected against future attacks,” it advised. The report comes as a new variety of ransomware known as Bad Rabbit makes its way across the world, infecting public computer systems in Russia, Ukraine, elsewhere in Europe and even Japan. WannaCry was the most prolific attack of its kind, spreading easily due to a conspicuous lack of security guarding the IT systems of its victims.
“The NHS could have fended off this attack if it had taken simple steps to protect its computers and medical equipment,” Meg Hillier, chair of the UK government’s public accounts committee reiterated. “…The NHS and the department need to get serious about cybersecurity or the next incident could be far worse.” Though the discovery of an antidote, WannaCry’s effect was limited after a certain point, and the attack was notable for the correspondingly meager amounts collected by hackers. This led Russia’s Internet advisor Herman Klimenko even to suggest the perpetrators were children.
Japan’s Quoine – Too Much Interest
to Handle from ‘Desperate’
China’s Bitcoin-to-fiat exchange and ICO ban
is producing a record number of “desperate” refugees, Quoine’s CEO Mike Kayamori has said. In comments to Bloomberg, the Japanese exchange head said the fallout from the Chinese rules means the country’s exchange operators are fervently looking for alternatives, including in Japan. “We’re talking to almost all of those guys. They’re all desperate now,” he told the publication.
Japan offers a ‘friendlier’ licensed environment for crypto exchange businesses, while China’s household names such as OKCoin and Binance are eyeing up Hong Kong, Singapore and South Korea. Kayamori said that such is the scale of demand, Quoine alone is unable to service Chinese requirements. “There’s a lot of Chinese retail people reaching out to us, but we can’t handle it. So if a Chinese partner can handle all of those and they connect to us, that will be much easier,” he added.
As China’s flagship exchange BTCChina shuts its doors in the coming days, the Bitcoin sphere is buzzing with speculation as to if and when the situation will change once again. In the meantime, international scaling is something OKCoin is considering in light of current demand. “China used to account for a significant share of the cryptocurrency market, so we think the demand is there," Lennix Lai, financial market director for its subsidiary OKEx said. “As formerly one of the biggest operators in China, we think we have a good chance of competing globally.”