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West Middlesex Hospital Hit by Computer Virus

The IT networks of UK's West Middlesex University Hospital have been hit by a computer virus called "Conficker A".

The reports claim that the virus attacked the hospital systems on February 11, 2010. The attack has brought the computers at the departments to a halt.

Although it is not clear how the infection took place at West Middlesex, latest UK public sector Conficker attacks have been accused on either infected USB drives/external laptops.

The hospital authorities disclosed that the virus has led to some operational issues in the hospitals, not allowing staff to book patients for appointments, access e-mail, referrals, etc.

A spokesman for hospital stated that presently technicians are working on isolating the service and sanitizing the system and patients are being asked to contact the hospital in case of any urgency, until everything returns back to normal, as per the news published by The Hounslow Chronicle on February 16, 2010.

In the meantime, the Hospital is trying to find out the losses caused by the attack, but an amount in millions is most probably encountered in such cases.

Remarkably, in January 2010 only targets of the malware include Greater Manchester Police, Leeds NHS and Mid Cheshire NHS Trust. The malware attack at GMP had serious operational results after senior officers took decision of disconnecting force systems from the court systems and Police National Computer for five days while a sanitizing operation occurred.

Director of malware intelligence at net security firm Eset and an NHS IT manager, David Harley, said that persistent problems with Conficker were far restricted to the public sector, despite the number of assaults in govt. facilities and hospitals since the beginning of 2010, reported The Register on February 18, 2010.

Harley continued by saying that it is not just the public sector. He said that their monthly statistics highlight that Conficker-related risks have been dominant for several months - in January 2010, it estimated for around 12% of findings 'phoned home' by downloading of Eset software globally.

Related article: West Berkshire Warns People against Tax Refund phishing Scam

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