British hospital workers were warned of ‘ransomware’ threat

LONDON, ENGLAND, UK (REUTERS) – Hospitals across England were being forced to divert emergency cases on Friday (May 12) after suffering a suspected national cyber attack.

Among them was the Barts Health group which manages major central London hospitals including The Royal London and St Bartholomew’s.

Patients requiring emergency treatment across England were diverted away from the hospitals affected and the public was advised to only seek medical care for acute medical conditions.

Reuters was unable to independently verify whether the hospitals were the subject of a concerted cyber attack ahead of the June 8 election.

Britain’s National Crime Agency said it was aware of the reports of a cyber attack but made no further comment.

The National Health Service (NHS) said it was responding to the incidents.

There was no immediate comment from the Health Ministry.

Earlier on Friday, Spain’s government warned that a large number of companies had been attacked by cyber criminals who infected computers with malicious software known as “ransomware” that locks up computers and demands ransoms to restore access.