20 Feb 2020

NHS reduces major IT attacks since 2017 WannaCry Ransomware crisis

Since 2014, the NHS has suffered 209 successful ransomware attacks according to stats based on Freedom of Information requests. However, the situation has improved dramatically since 2017, the year WannaCry ransomware hit the health service.

 

 

The figures, posted in a report from research company Comparitech, highlight the following statistics since 2014:

  • 209 or more successful attacks, ranging from one computer to an entire system
  • No ransoms reported to have been paid
  • Estimated downtime of 206 days
  • Only 6 attacks were reported after 2017, the year of WannaCry, albeit with the caveat that 20% of hospitals refused, or failed to respond to the survey

 

The research company sent the survey to  254 NHS Trusts, with 184 responding, 20 not responding and 50 refusing to hand over the information requested.

 

A September 2018 government report estimated the cost of WannaCry, aka WannaCrypt, to be up to £92m, most of which occurred in the aftermath, rather than during the attack, to restore data and systems.

 

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16 Jan 2019

The Venture 1 2018 Security Threat Summary

As we start a new and exciting year at Venture 1 Consulting, we wanted to summaries what we believe were the top stories that shook the IT world over the last year to do with security threats.

 

Spectre Meltdown crisis

Just over a year ago, on the 4th January 2018, Spectre Meltdown was a security breach that affected almost all server chips, mobiles and desktops. This allowed hackers to gain information from the processor’s kernel memory and potentially usernames and passwords. The knock on effect was significant with major corporations including Microsoft and Intel spending months dealing with the problem.

 

US mid-term election hacking speculation

America’s political status is constantly gaining the mainstream media’s attention around the world. The usual mid-term elections came about in November and whilst usually low key and quiet outside of America, last year was a completely different story…

With the 2016 presidential election campaign already under investigation due to hacking claims, the 2018 vote was also investigated over possible security attacks. Both domestic and foreign hackers were said to have possibly had an effect on the sway of voters by leaking out incorrect information. Security firms were also warning that Russian hackers were trying to affect campaigns in the summer and influence the outcome, favouring one candidate over the other.

Fortunately and ensuring a fair election, only a single instance of voter fraud was found, with hacker’s attempts hardly causing an effect but this event did serve to further highlight the potential for election disruption from hostile external sources.

 

Cambridge Analytica fights back at Facebook

For several years, Facebook has been under fire due to its privacy and data policy. In 2018, the heat was turned up dramatically when British political consulting firm, Cambridge Analytica was able to capture information on millions of user profiles.

Facebook Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg was forced to face the crowd as well as tough questioning from both the U.S. Congress and European Parliament and apologise to the world for allowing users’ personal profile information to be accessed by third parties.

 

Over the last few years, the steps businesses now have in place to deal with hackers and security threats has completely changed. The lacklustre response to almost all of these stories shows that in the world we live in today, we now have an expectation that sooner or later our personal or company data will be subject to some sort of security breach. Therefore, in an ever-changing IT landscape I’m sure we can expect that 2019 will be full of surprises and shocks in the world of IT security similar to last year!

 

What other security stories do you believe could have made our list?

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