A test email sent by accident to 850,000 NHS workers has caused utter chaos after being sent from an apparently incorrectly configured email distribution list.
The sender, identified only as R, sent the blank message with a subject line that simply read "test" to a distribution list called CroydonPractices, according to health service workers.
The message somehow found its way to all NHS.net email addresses – and was immediately magnified by thoughtless people hitting "reply" to point out the error and demand they be removed.
Sources said actual work emails were delayed by at least three hours at the time of writing, thanks to the huge volumes of traffic snarling up NHS.net servers. By 11.30am 70 or 80 people had replied to the message, inadvertently copying it to all 850k NHS employee addresses.
World-leading Papworth Hospital has escaped a full-on zero-day crypto ransomware attack thanks to the "very, very lucky" timing of its daily backup.
It's believed that an on-duty nurse at the heart and lung hospital in Cambridgeshire, UK, unwittingly clicked on something in an infected email, activating the attack at about 11pm on a Saturday night a few months back.
But the malware did not start encrypting files until after midnight – just after the daily backup had completed, ICT director Jane Berezynskyj has said.
The NHS foundation trust had made recovery plans and recruited experienced staff following earlier attacks, but Berezynskyj said: "We were also very, very lucky. Timing absolutely was everything for us."
DeepMind, an AI research lab acquired by Google for £400 million in 2014, has provided an update on how its DeepMind Health unit is doing. The London-based company told Business Insider on Tuesday that it has doubled the size of its team from 20 to 40 since launching in February this year, hiring several big names in the AI world along the way.
New hires include security and privacy expert Ben Laurie, who is the founding director of the Apache Software Foundation, a director at the Open Rights Group, and a veteran Google software engineer, and former CIO Tony Corkett, who helped the NHS to digitise X-rays.
Former Google Maps team leader Andrew Eland has been brought in to head up DeepMind Health's engineering efforts, while Will Cavendish, a former civil servant that worked on NHS online booking and prescription services, has joined as strategy lead. Elsewhere, ex-GE Healthcare executive Cathy Harris has been appointed as DeepMind Health's product lead.
...but won’t pay attackers.
Ever since the development of the internet, ransomware has always been one of the pain points of computer networking and particularly over the last decade. Ransomware refers to a type of computer malware which executes cryptovirology attacks after it covertly installs on a computer.
Once the computer is infected, payment is demanded to correct the problem.
However, ransomware attacks have recently started to attract the attention of mainstream media. The main reason for this is that the attacks seem to be focused on hospitals, clinics, and several other healthcare facilities. The trend started off in the United States but has since moved on to the UK. Over the last 12 months, a large number of healthcare facilities have had their access to important data compromised, and this is a cause for concern for many people.
NHS England and NHS Improvement set out next steps to implement the NHS Five Year Forward View in 2017/18 and 2018/19
National NHS leaders have set out steps to strengthen collaboration across the NHS and ensure that local health and care areas are successful in delivering their blueprints for the future. Published by NHS England and NHS Improvement, Delivering the Forward View: NHS Operational Planning Guidance for 2017/18 and 2018/19 provides NHS trusts and commissioners with tools they need to plan for the years ahead.
For the first time, the guidance covers two financial years, to provide greater stability, underpinned by a two-year tariff for NHS patients and a two-year NHS Standard Contract.