(Forbes) It’s been a matter of weeks since a shady hacker crew called Shadow Brokers dumped a load of tools believed to belong to the National Security Agency (NSA). It now appears one leaked NSA tool, an exploit of Microsoft Windows called EternalBlue, is being used as one method for rapidly spreading a ransomware variant called WannaCry across the world.
The ransomware has hit UK hospitals hard, with multiple sources reporting closures of entire wards, patients being turned away and some National Health Service (NHS) staff being sent home. Barts Health, a central London NHS trust, advised patients to look for assistance elsewhere and said ambulances were being diverted elsewhere, while another NHS organization said it had to turn away outpatients and limit its radiology services. In the Essex town of Colchester, the hospital decided to close much of its A&E department to accept only those in “critical or life-threatening situations.”