Russian cyberattack could cripple NHS amid fears of sleeper bug planted 9 months ago

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Health chiefs have ordered urgent action to thwart a suspected Russian cyberattack that could further cripple the NHS.
It is feared that a dormant bug was implanted in computers in March to collect confidential patient data.

The software is also used by vaccine regulators and the alarm was raised after similar US systems were hacked.

A “high severity” alert has been issued on the NHS network.

Now the race is on to find a way to activate a “kill switch” that SolarWinds, the Texas company providing the software, has developed.

The bug – in SolarWinds’ Orion platform – could wreak havoc in a repeat of the 2017 attack that caused the cancellation of 19,000 appointments and operations at a cost of £ 92million.

National Cyber ​​Security Center investigators have been called.

A Whitehall source described the attack as an “extremely sophisticated operation by a state actor.”

The pirated software is also used by the Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Agency, which is responsible for approving Covid vaccines.

The pirated software is also used by the Medicines and Health Products Regulatory Agency, which is responsible for approving Covid vaccines.

Private security companies in the United States are pointing fingers at President Putin and the Kremlin.

Earlier this year, a cyber campaign was launched from Russia in an attempt to ridicule the AstraZeneca vaccine with outlandish claims that it turned people into apes.

A spokesperson for the Russian embassy said that it “does not conduct offensive operations in the cyber domain”.

SolarWinds is in use throughout Whitehall and a trawl is underway to find out which systems have the Orion component.

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