NHS Digital said the attack, believed to have been caused by a malware variant, did not specifically target the NHS and it is also affecting various sectors.
“At this stage we do not have any evidence that patient data has been accessed,” NHS said, adding that they are “working closely with the National Cyber Security Centre, the Department of Health and NHS England to support affected organisations and ensure patient safety is protected.”
Some social media reports say that a virus had taken over their main screen, with a message saying that until users pay $300 in ransom, the computers won’t be accessible.
16 organizations were affected as of 15:30, the NHS statement said.
“Our focus is on supporting organisations to manage the incident swiftly and decisively, but we will continue to communicate with NHS colleagues and will share more information as it becomes available,” it added.