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Headline

GP practices 'closed down' by NHS computer system hack attack

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Dear All, In addition to all the detailed stuff on the various NHSE NHSD, Supplier, RCGP etc web sites here's some simpler stuff; The WannaCry virus is a self-propagating “worm” that seeks out vulnerable computers linked via networks. Once introduced to a network it burrows from workstation to workstation like a software mole, only surfacing every now and then on unprotected PCs with its threatening screen. Like a mole it has to be isolated and then dealt with. It can be beaten and removed Although it threatens to encrypt your files it does not It only works on the Windows operating systems It has not affected the GP system suppliers, none of the GPSoC clinical system suppliers have been infected and no patient data has been affected. Stories of EMIS or TPP being “down” reflect the local networks being shut down not any problem with the system suppliers. If you see the screen on a PC immediately unplug the network cable from the back of the PC or from the socket in the wall. At the end that plugs into the PC there are often two small green LEDs adjacent to the cable socket that flash intermittently. Then close down the PC, you can do this by simply pressing and keep pressing the power button until the PC stops. Alternatively hold down the ALT key and then press the F4 key, doing this repeatedly and closing any programs running should eventually show you a “close down this PC” box. Once the PC has been disconnected and turned off the virus will have been isolated and can then be dealt with. Do not reconnect that PC to any network until it has been cleansed. Different areas will have different solutions. Contact your local IT support / AT / CSU for advice, browse the various sites available at NHS Digital, NHSE, CyberCert, RCGP, EMIS and TPP etc. For practices still using Microsoft XP, although this is an obsolete system and no longer officially supported by Microsoft they have, in response to this global event, created a patch for XP. This means once cleansed you will be able to resume using these workstations. It is likely that fixes will be applied by downloading them onto fobs and then transferring them onto the affected PCs. It is safe to continue use NHS Mail. It can lie dormant, so even apparently unaffected PCs may still harbour the virus. So in the next week make sure EVERY pc in your surgery gets a full virus / malware scan. Regards Paul C

Posted date

15 May 2017

Posted time

7:53am

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