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Cyber attacks: Powys general election vote applications hit

By Naomi Penrose | Mid Wales | Election latest | Published:

Residents in Mid Wales who have applied for a proxy vote in the General Election by email may have to do it again after the global cyber attack.

IT systems were hit in the cyber attack last week

The announcement was made by Powys County Council which locked down its servers to external email as a result of the weekend attack.

The Council said it had not been affected by the recent attack, but extra security controls had been put in place.

The authority’s email provider is NHS Wales Informatics Service and as a precautionary measure they put email restrictions in place from Friday evening, which still remain.

The restrictions mean that no external incoming email will have been received. In addition, all external emails received from 12.01am on Friday to Sunday have been deleted.

Lee Evans, spokesman for Powys County Council, said: “Please note that if you have sent a postal or proxy vote application via email to electoral.services@powys.gov.uk since midnight on Thursday your application will have been deleted.

“The deadline for postal applications is 5pm on May 23. We would suggest that you look to apply again using either the postal service via Electoral Services, Powys County Council, County Hall, Llandrindod Wells, Powys LD1 5LG or by faxing in your application form to 01597 826220.

“We would also suggest that you review our website or social media accounts for further information and updates.”

Meanwhile, Market Drayton Medical Practice was amongst those to have been hit by the international cyber attack.

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The medical practice’s phone lines and computers failed on Friday after they were affected by the attack.

There were delays in processing prescriptions and staff apologised for the disruption.

However most of the services at the practice, on Maer Lane, have now been restored and are running as normal.

A spokeswoman for the surgery said: “After a busy weekend of testing and fixing most of the services at the practice, and other departments in the building, have been restored and are running as normal.

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“We want to say thank you to patients for their patience and please be aware that we are working hard to catch up with the back-log of prescriptions, referrals and other admin that we have not been able to attend to since the ransomware attack on Friday lunchtime.”

“Please be assured that although the building was affected, at no time was any data, patient or practice, compromised or damaged.”

Elsewhere The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH) confirmed the virus was detected on some of its computers. Also Priorslee Medical Practice in Telford was affected.

But services were running “normal” on Monday.

Sara Biffen, deputy chief operating officer at SaTH, said: “As has been widely reported, on Friday a large number of NHS trusts were affected by a computer virus that was contained in an email attachment. Unfortunately, the virus was detected on a small number of machines at SaTH.

“As a precautionary measure, some of the trust’s systems were suspended briefly in order to reduce any further risk. All of our systems, except for email, are available again.

“Our IT department worked tirelessly to minimise the impact of the virus and to ensure all of our systems were safe to use. No data or information has been lost or compromised.

“A very small number of MRI and CT scanning appointments were cancelled as a precaution whilst systems were down. All other clinics and departments were running over the weekend, although patients may have experienced delays whilst systems were temporarily unavailable. We apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused.

“Our staff were fantastic and responded well to ensure our patients continued to receive the best care possible and I’d like to thank everyone for their efforts over the weekend and our patients for their understanding.”

Naomi Penrose

By Naomi Penrose
Reporter - @Naomi_ShropStar

Reporter for the Shropshire Star and Oswestry & Border Chronicle, based in Oswestry. I cover the Oswestry and Mid Wales areas.

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