WannaCry Ransomware Cost UK’s National Healthcare $120 Million

Medical Hack Healthcare

The infamous WannaCry attack in 2017 that crippled Windows machines all over the world has cost the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS) a jaw-dropping $122 million in lost revenue and recovery costs.

According to a report from the UK’s Department of Health, the WannaCry ransomware cyberattack hit a third of hospital trusts and 8 percent of general practitioners’ practices across the United Kingdom.

Some 19,000 appointments were canceled as a direct result of the hack, costing the NHS $26 million in losses between May 12 and May 19, 2017, alone. The subsequent cleanup operation to remedy systems and upgrade them to be immune from further attacks cost another $95 million.

The NHS was roundly criticked at the time for relying on legacy software, including Windows XP, a popular operating system that was released in 2000.

The report revealed that the government had since increased spending on cybersecurity infrastructure to safeguard its most vulnerable services including ambulance dispatch and major trauma centers. The UK government is also committing an additional $198 million to upgrade its technology systems over the coming years.

The report added:

 “The results have shown that organisations have made good progress in implementing the data security standards related to people and process, but that those relating to technology continue to be challenging.”

As things stand, the NHS has inked a new deal to upgrade local NHS computers with Windows 10.

In September this year, US Prosecutors pointed the finger squarely at the Lazarus Group, an infamous hacking outfit with roots in North Korea. The malware notably used a leaked hacking tool developed by the NSA to propagate all over the world, causing widespread financial damages and loss of productivity.

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