Cyber-attack that crippled NHS systems hits Nissan car factory in Sunderland and Renault in France

Japanese car giant latest to be affected by ransomware sweeping the globe

Jon Sharman
Saturday 13 May 2017 11:53 BST
The Nissan factory in Sunderland
The Nissan factory in Sunderland

Nissan's Sunderland car factory has been hit by a cyber-attack.

It comes after the NHS was held to ransom when malware struck on Friday, locking doctors out of their computers.

A Nissan spokesman said he could not confirm whether production had been affected. The plant's standard working week is Monday to Friday.

The spokesman said: "Like many organisations, our UK plant was subject to a ransomware attack affecting some of our systems on Friday night. Our teams are working to solve this issue."

French carmaker Renault has also been affected. "Measures are being put in place to stop the spread of the virus. It's the first step," a spokeswoman said.

The ransomware – which locks down files until money is paid – is a new version that is rapidly spreading across the world. It has affected thousands of computers in nearly 100 countries.

Patients across England and Scotland were in limbo after the malicious program spread through accident and emergency, GP surgeries and other vital health services.

Non-emergency patients have been advised to use health facilities sparingly, while those who are critically ill have had to be diverted to unaffected hospitals as computer systems failed in A&E units.

Though the problem is already infamous in the UK for the damage it has done to NHS systems, the effects have focused most specifically on Spain and Russia, according to experts.

"This cyber attack is much larger than just the NHS," said Travis Farral, director of security strategy for cyber security firm Anomali Labs. "It appears to be a giant campaign that has hit Spain and Russia the hardest."

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