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Oscar Williams

News editor

Bitpaymer ransomware was responsible for hit on Scottish health board

Ransomware was to blame for a cyber attack on a Scottish health board that led to the cancellation of appointments and operations, the trust has confirmed.

NHS Lanarkshire said that staff worked through the bank holiday weekend to fix its system after it was infiltrated by a variant of Bitpaymer malware on Friday.

An investigation into how the malware penetrated the board’s systems is now underway, according to the trust.

It comes after WannaCry ransomware paralysed parts of the NHS and thousands more organisations earlier this year.

Doctors and nurses were forced to cancel thousands of operations as the virus spread through computer systems across the country.

NHS Lanarkshire CEO Calum Campbell said the hospital’s IT team was able to quickly identify the source of the ransomware after it hit on Friday.

“Our staff have worked hard to minimise the impact on patients and our contingency plans have ensured we have been able to continue to deliver services while the IT issues were resolved,” he said. “A small number of systems were affected with the majority restored over the weekend and the remainder on Monday.”

“Unfortunately a small number of procedures and appointments were cancelled as a result of the incident. I would like to apologise to anyone who has been affected by this disruption. We immediately started work to reappoint patients to the earliest possible appointments.”

A spokesperson added: “Our security software and systems were up to date with the latest signature files, but as this was a new malware variant the latest security software was unable to detect it.

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