“We have seen ransomware attacks against the NHS in the past including Barts Health Trust in January. However this looks to be more serious and is potentially targeting core systems used by multiple hospitals. Unfortunately the ransomware ‘business model’ is very profitable for cyber criminals and we’ve seen multiple reports of organisations paying out in the past,” said Rick Holland, Vice President, Strategy, Digital Shadows. “Keeping up-to-date with ransomware is not easy, there are many variants. Many do get shut down and their encryption cracked, only for another version to spring up – therefore it’s a constant game of constant cat and mouse. Those within the NHS will now be looking to contain the threat. We can only hope that adequate back up measures have been put in place so that vital data can be restored and systems cleaned. Most ransomware locks data rather than steals it – if that is the case here then the threat can be somewhat contained,” Rick concluded.