More than £105,000 in bitcoin removed from WannaCry wallets

ransomware
With reviews on the NHS impact of the WannaCry attack expected to be published this autumn, ransom payments in bitcoin have now been withdrawn

WannaCry online wallets have now been emptied out

[London, UK] More than £105,000 in bitcoin have now been withdrawn from online wallets set up to extort money from victims of the WannaCry attack.

Setting up a Twitter bot to monitor the activity, a Quartz journalist has noted that all wallets have now been emptied out, presumably by the hackers who initially released the virus.

The WannaCry attack created significant disruption across the NHS, prompting several announcements that investment in cyber defence would be strengthened.

NHS Digital is now looking to set up a Security Operations Centre that would ‘build on’ CareCERT services, increasing efficiency of cybersecurity measures as threats continue to grow.

Back in May, security agencies advised victims not to pay the WannaCry ransom as there was no guarantee access to files would be restored.

Money sent through ‘bitcoin mixer’

Quartz suggested the money had been sent through a ‘bitcoin mixer’, described as a method used to distort trails of digital currency transactions.

Health and Social Care CIO Will Smart is now undertaking a review to assess the impact of the WannaCry attack across the NHS, expected to be published this autumn.

In response to a question asked by Justin Madders, Labour MP for Ellesmere and Port, Jackie Doyle-Price, Tory MP for Thurrock and Minister for Health and Care, outlined further details:

“That review will provide an assessment of what actions are required to mitigate the risk and impact of a future cyber attack on the NHS, looking in particular at infrastructure, incident response and resilience, and ensuring that this learning is widely shared across all parts of the healthcare system.”

Doyle-Price revealed emergency measures deployed during the WannaCry attack by NHS Digital and NHS England cost them £180,000 from internal budgets.

The National Audit Office is also set to publish this autumn the outcome of the investigation into the extent of the WannaCry attack and its effect on the NHS.