- Hospital staff locked out of their computers following the cyber attack
- A message demanding ransom was displayed on screen
- Emergency services were diverted, routine appointments cancelled
Hospital staff were locked out of their systems, forcing them to divert emergency services, reported the UK media. A message demanding a ransom in return for access to the computers was displayed on screen.
Barts Health, the central London health authority, which manages five hospitals including St Bartholomew's and The Royal London, posted on its official website:
"We are experiencing a major IT disruption and there are delays at all of our hospitals. We have activated our major incident plan to make sure we can maintain the safety and welfare of patients.
"We are very sorry that we have to cancel routine appointments, and would ask members of the public to use other NHS services wherever possible."
"Ambulances are being diverted to neighbouring hospitals.
"The problem is also affecting the switchboard at Newham hospital but direct line phones are working. All our staff are working hard to minimise the impact and we will post regular updates on the website."
The Liverpool Community Health NHS Trust tweeted:
Some of our local NHS IT systems are currently down. We are working to rectify the problem asap. Apols for any inconvenience.- Liverpool CH Trust (@NHSLiverpoolCH) May 12, 2017
It later tweeted again:
Please be aware the NHS is experiencing serious IT problems today. Please only contact your GP surgery or hospital in a genuine emergency.- Liverpool CH Trust (@NHSLiverpoolCH) May 12, 2017
The IT systems of NHS sites across the country appear to have been simultaneously hit, with a pop-up message demanding a ransom in exchange for access to the PCs, reported The Guardian.
A person tweeted an image of the purported message:
A screenshot of a message circulating on WhatsApp by a doctor was also tweeted:
Why would you cyber attack a hospital and hold it for ransom? The state of the world pic.twitter.com/e6h6yNrBBB- If.ra (@asystoly) May 12, 2017