Newspaper headlines: 'National Hacked Service held to ransom'

Daily Telegraph

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The cyber-attack that has hit the NHS dominates the front pages. The Daily Telegraph says hackers have held the organisation to ransom. Doctors told the paper that the attack could have cost lives, as operations were cancelled, ambulances diverted and medical records were not accessible.

The Sun

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The Sun leads with the headline “National Hacked Service” as it reports that scores of hospitals were hit by the attack. The newspaper also claims it is the biggest cyber breach ever in the UK.

Daily Mail

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The Daily Mail’s front page says the cyber hackers “crippled” the NHS. The newspaper quotes experts claiming the organisation had ignored warnings that an attack of this scale could happen and it was at risk.


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The i reports that at least 74 other countries also fell victim to the ransomware infection, which demands payment to unlock computer systems. The newspaper describes how doctors and nurses were having to turn back to paper and pen as computers were shut down across the country.

The TimesImage copyright

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The Times reports that patients are “facing a weekend of chaos” because of the attacks and the hunt is on for the cyber criminals responsible. The newspaper also pictures Chelsea manager Antonio Conte celebrating as his team are crowned champions of the Premier League with a 1-0 win against West Brom.

The Guardian

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The Guardian says that a $300 ransom was demanded for each computer affected during the cyber attack. In a second story on its front page, the newspaper reports on Labour deputy leader Tom Watson calling on people not to turn Theresa May into Margaret Thatcher by giving her a landslide victory in 8 June’s general election.

Daily Express

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The Daily Express says the cyber-attack disrupted “vital treatment for thousands of patients”. In other news, the newspaper warns of “tropical thunderstorms” making their way to the UK.

Daily Mirror

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The Daily Mirror also uses the word “chaos” to describe the events of Friday as both IT and phone systems were hit by the attack. It also reports that X Factor could be in secret talks with singer Mariah Carey to join the show.


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The Financial Times says the attack used stolen “cyber weapons” from a US spy agency. The newspaper also reports on the prime minister’s reassurance that there was no evidence of any patient data having been compromised.

Daily Star

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The Daily Star gives a brief mention to the NHS attack, but leads with the story that Britain’s Got Talent judge Simon Cowell had been left shaken by a clown act on the show.

The cyber-attack on the NHS is the main story on the front pages of Saturday’s newspapers.

“Hackers hold NHS to ransom” is the Daily Mirror’s headline, the i writes, “Huge NHS cyber-attack paralyses hospitals,” and the Sun chooses a headline that makes play of the initials NHS: “National Hacked Service”.

The Guardian quotes computer security experts as saying the attack appeared to exploit a weakness in Microsoft’s software that had been fixed by a “critical” software patch earlier this year.

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However, the report in the Times says the hospitals affected are thought to have failed to carry out the update.

According to the Daily Telegraph, experts also say the health service appears susceptible to attacks because many trusts are using obsolete systems.

The Daily Mail asks why the NHS ignored warnings that it was at risk.

Bloody Sunday

A number of papers report that 18 British soldiers are facing charges for their involvement in the Bloody Sunday shootings.

Thirteen people died when members of the Parachute Regiment opened fire on civil rights demonstrators in Londonderry in 1972, with a 14th person dying later.

According to the i, prosecutors are considering bringing a range of charges, including murder, attempted murder and lying under oath.

A Public Prosecution Service spokesman says no decision has yet been taken.

Home hijack

The Financial Times reports that landlords are falling victim in growing numbers to “home hijack” fraud, in which bogus tenants posing as property owners sell to cash buyers and disappear with the proceeds.

Under the scam, a fraudster typically rents a property from an unwitting landlord using a false identity.

The so-called tenant then changes his or her name by deed poll to the owner’s name, before putting the property on the market and selecting a cash buyer who could move quickly to complete a sale.

The owner hears of the sale only when the buyer tries to register the purchase with the Land Registry.

The owner eventually gets their house back – but the cash buyers will rarely see their money again.

Jeremy Corbyn’s speech setting out his defence policy – insisting he isn’t a pacifist and would order the use of military action as a last resort – fails to impress the Daily Mail and the Daily Express.

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For the Mail, the policy amounts to rolling over and inviting any hostile power to walk all over us.

But the Mirror says the Labour leader deserves credit for grasping the security and defence nettle to explain his stance.

There is also widespread interest in the contrasts between the battle buses of the two main party leaders.

The Times is not alone in noting that Theresa May’s bus has her name prominently displayed, but only mentions her party in tiny writing on the door.

Labour’s bus is less coy – it says – but steers clear of naming the party leader.

As the Sun puts it, the prime minister’s bus is Tory-free and Labour’s is Corbyn-free.

Masterchef winner’s hospital food

The Times applauds the winner of the BBC’s MasterChef – junior doctor Saliha Mahmood-Ahmed – for saying she wants to use her success as a platform to improve hospital meals.

It says her victory will bring celebrity and a public voice to make hospital food better – though she will know that Lloyd Grossman and Albert Roux have tried before to little avail.

The chief problem is lack of money, the newspaper warns, with hospitals in Lancashire allowing just 14p more per patient a day than the average food budget for prisoners.

Nevertheless, it wishes her well. Dreadful hospital meals have a brave new enemy, the newspaper declares.

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