May 12, 2017 / 3:24 PM / 3 months ago

England's health service says hospitals hit by 'ransomware' attack

LONDON, May 12 (Reuters) - England's National Health Service (NHS) said a number of hospitals' computer systems had been hit by a 'ransomware' attack on Friday, but that so far it did not believe patient data had been accessed.

"This attack was not specifically targeted at the NHS and is affecting organisations from across a range of sectors," NHS Digital, a division of NHS England which handles information technology issues, said in a statement.

NHS Digital said the malware variant infecting computers was believed to be one known as Wanna Decryptor. Ransomware attacks typically remotely encrypt files on a computer, and charge users to decrypt them.

"NHS Digital is working closely with the National Cyber Security Centre, the Department of Health and NHS England to support affected organisations and to recommend appropriate mitigations," the public body said. (Reporting by Kate Holton, writing by David Milliken; editing by Stephen Addison)

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