Security services investigate major cyberattack attack on NHS 111 system which has left Patients struggling to get urgent appointments and emergency call outs.
NHS 111 employees across the country have been forced use pens and paper after the decisive system was shut down hackers feared being associated with a hostile state.
public was told to expect delays when calling the hotline as NHS sources warned the failure could drive patients in overburdened emergency and emergency departments over weekends. Officials believe the shutdown will last before Tuesday at the earliest.
The hackers targeted Advanced, a company supplying software up to 85 percent of NHS Services 111. Company Directory system allows call handlers to dispatch ambulances, book out of hours urgent appointments and comply with emergency orders.
Over 1000 care homes use Caresys software firms have also hurt – together with mental health services within the NHS, which use this is record control system.
An NHS source said: “Currently call- processing and response times are holding up but there are fears that the situation may change over weekend, and that we could see deterioration.
“Cases in need of first aid is a priority.
GSZ 111 call processors were ordered use alternative system send ambulances, source added.
The National Cyber Security Center said it was working with advanced to explore cause.
Cyber attacks “used by hostile states”
It comes after Five Eyes international intelligence alliance – part of of UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and US – Alert of in risk of state-sponsored cyberattacks coordinated from Moscow following the UK’s response to Russia’s actions. invasion of Ukraine, targeting critical organizations including NHS, nuclear power stations and spare parts of Public service.
They said that intelligence suggests the presence of hackers in Russia. government sought to engage in “malicious cyber activity” in response to “unprecedented economic sanctions” imposed on Moscow. All NHS funds have been alerted in March to the coast up their cybersecurity systems and ensure they have had back-UPS in place.
Bob Seeley, Conservative MP on house of Wikimedia Commons foreign affairs Committee, said: “Undoubtedly, true that cyberwar one of in tools of modern hybrid, fullspectrum conflict.
“It is used by hostile states, including Russia, and other states like China.
“This attack may be criminal gangs operate with silent support of The Russian State, or it may be the Russian State itself.
“Given that we one of main supporters of Ukraine, if these are Russians, it will definitely not come as a surprise.”
Shutdown has left NHS 111 staff “work on paper” and “negatively affects” times response, according to a letter from NHS bosses sent to London general practitioners.
A letter sent to GPs seen by Pulse says: call handlers were left can’t enroll patients directly for meetings and family doctors were asked to “manage calls where possible”.
Direct Booking for call handlers to other services were shut down and the staff were told to try and make them via phone or email instead.
Ambulance Wales said a “major outage” has affected all four countries and it could take longer. for 111 calls to be answered over weekends.