The threat comes following the arrest of an alleged pro-Putin cybercriminal in London who is believed to be responsible for a hack on government and media websites in Romania. The suspect is part of a group known as “Killnet” who have since vowed to disable NHS ventilators, as well as ones in Romania and Moldova should their comrade not be released.
Killnet has claimed responsibility for the attacks in Romania following the country’s support for Ukraine during the ongoing Russian invasion.
Pages attacked include the government homepage, defence ministry and various political parties and private companies.
The man arrested in Britain has previously demonstrated support for Russia’s so-called “special operation” in numerous posts on his Facebook account.
Police in Romania teamed up with Britain’s National Crime Agency to conduct a raid on the cyber hacker.
Killnet has stated the man arrested was not involved in the attacks on Romania, but warned it would take action should the man continue to be held by police.
The threat to the NHS was posted on the popular messaging app Telegram.
Purporting to be from Killnet, the message said: “If he is not released within 48 hours I will destroy your Romania, Great Britain and Moldova.
“I will destroy your entire information structure and even your Ministry of Health.
“All ventilators will be attacked.
“Only then will you begin to realise the mistake you have made.”
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The suspect had been released under investigation prior to the warning.
Speaking to The Sun, an unknown source said: “The UK has robust cyber security measures in place and, working with partners, the NCA would lead an appropriate response to any cybercrime incident having a significant impact on the UK.”
The Five Eyes security network – involving the UK, US, Australia, Canada and New Zealand – issued an alert accusing the Russian government of exploring options for potential web assaults against critical organisations.
British intelligence services have long been protecting the UK from within the shadows.
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The National Cyber Security Centre, part of GCHQ, defended the UK against over 700 cyber-attacks in 2020, during the height of the pandemic.
According to GCHQ, “To protect the UK from cyber-attacks, terrorism and espionage, we use cutting-edge technology, technical creativity and a wide range of partnerships.
“We use our capabilities to collect intelligence, analyse data, and create real-world outcomes.”
It added: “During the Covid-19 pandemic, protecting the NHS and the health sector more widely has been the top priority for the NCSC.
“It has been working hard to ensure organisations can keep themselves secure.”
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According to Statista as of April 27, 2022, 310 confirmed COVID-19 patients were in mechanical ventilation beds in the United Kingdom.
Between April 10 and April 21, 2020, approximately 3.3 thousand ventilators were being used to treat COVID-19 patients.
On April 28, 2022, the number of confirmed cases in the UK amounted to 22,025,925.
176,000 people have died from Covid in the UK since the start of the pandemic.
Recent figures released by the WHO suggest 15 million people have died globally, the equivalent to the entire population of the city of Istanbul or Buenos Aires.