Another wrinkle in the ransomware hack attack that is spinning out on the world stage: Reports emerging today indicate that British hospital workers were warned on Friday that there was an imminent threat from ransomware that locks up computers and demands pay to restore access, according to an email seen by Reuters.
“The Trust has been advised by I.T. security and NHS-Digital of a serious ransomware threat currently in circulation throughout the NHS,” the email to employees of Britain’s National Health Service said.
The virus that hit the NHS in England and Scotland is called Wanna Decryptor or WannaCry — and it has already infected 200,000 machines in 150 countries since Friday.
The ransomware, which demands a $300 (£230) payment to allow access, has now jumped from the NHS and spread to FedEx, Renault and the Russian interior ministry. According to the BBC, about $38,000 had been paid by Monday morning.
In England, 47 trusts reported problems at hospitals and 13 NHS organisations in Scotland were affected.
There are emerging rumors that the virus that started this whole mess is actually an invention of the NSA, though the NSA has no official comment on the matter.