Conor McKenna speaks with BBC outlets on Friday and Saturday about cyber-attacks on Britain’s National Health Service, part of a global operation — apparently infiltration of “ransomware” — affecting more than 100 countries.
Speaking on BBC Hereford and BBC Stoke before the global scope became apparent, McKenna predicted that the NHS was not the primary target of criminal activity, but was caught up in a far wider attack. He followed up on Saturday on BBC Coventry with a review of the scope of the ransomware and the possible perpetrators.
The scale of the attack is unprecedented. We have never experienced anything which has spread with this level of rapidity and hit so many different sectors all at once.
It could just be a teenager who has hit the gold button. It’s something about which we should have been more vigilant.
Attribution of cyber-attacks is very, very difficult. It will be even more difficult in this case, if it’s individuals rather than States….With the wide number of attacks, perhaps there’s more chance but it will still be very difficult.
[Britain’s electronic intelligence service] GCHQ have some of the best people in the world, so if they can’t do it, I don’t think anyone can.
[The NHS] was lucky today. They were very quick to realize there was a problem and to shut down a large amount of NHS computers and GP [general practitioner] computers. And they were lucky that it’s a relatively small amount of money that was being requested.