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Carwyn Jones, First Minister

First published:
16 May 2017
Last updated:

This was published under the 2016 to 2021 administration of the Welsh Government

On Friday it was reported that a global coordinated cyber attack disrupted thousands of organisations and industries in more than 150 countries.  Ransomware infected machines, resulting in the encryption of computer files with demands for ransom payments being requested. Although the motive behind the attack is unclear, it is being treated as a criminal investigation.

There has been considerable publicity around the impact this cyber attack has had on NHS England and NHS Scotland. The Ransomware has not affected the integrity of NHS systems here in Wales, partly due to the resilience defences already in place.

To continue to protect NHS Wales from disruption a number of extra security controls have been put in place. This included temporarily blocking all external emails sent to NHS Wales and applying new anti-virus definitions and patches to both national and local systems. This work is expected to be completed today.

Where the ransomware has been detected, immediate remedial action has been taken to prevent the spreading of the virus. This has ensured that no patient data has been compromised or lost.

We have no reports of the incident impacting on patient care. However, to allow precautionary patching of their systems, Velindre Hospital rescheduled radiotherapy appointments for a small cohort of patients (40 in total) from Monday to Tuesday.

Across the wider public sector in Wales, Welsh Government, along with local government bodies and schools has confirmed that no instances have been reported and no active malware has been found on their systems. As a precautionary measure emergency patching has taken place in line with industry updates and best practice. We have written to all local authorities asking them to provide details of any issues found, along with the mitigations they are putting in place.

The Public Sector Broadband Aggregation network, which connects most of the public sector in Wales together, has also confirmed that it has not been affected.

Welsh Government has provided advice and guidance to all Welsh Government Sponsored Public Bodies and asked them to report anything suspicious to Welsh Government.

We are continuing to monitor the situation and taking action where risks is identified, including working with COBR, the UK Government’s emergency response committee.

I would like to thank all of the IT Teams across NHS Wales and the wider public sector who have worked tirelessly throughout the weekend to protect our public services.