LONDON • A number of hospitals in Britain and firms in Spain were hit by separate large-scale cyber attacks yesterday.
In Britain, a ransomware attack plunged the country's National Health Service (NHS) into chaos, forcing many hospitals to divert emergency patients.
An IT worker with NHS said that the problem began with e-mail servers crashing, followed by clinical systems and patient systems going down.
A virus pop-up message demanded that users pay US$300 (S$421) in bitcoin to access their PCs, reported The Guardian.
NHS England confirmed hospitals across the country appeared to have been simultaneously hit and it had activated a "major incident plan".
Meanwhile, in Spain, telecoms giant Telefonica and several other Spanish companies were targeted by a version of the WannaCry virus, which encrypts sensitive user data, reported Reuters.