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By | Kelly Fiveash 3rd February 2014 10:57

NHS website hit by MASSIVE malware security COCKUP

'Internal coding error' at fault...

Updated Hundreds of URLs on the NHS website have been flooded with malware by hackers and - at time of writing - it remains exposed.

The security blunder was first spotted early this morning and an alert was posted on Reddit along with a list of 587 pages said to have been compromised on the site.

The Register put calls in to NHS England, NHS Choices, the Department of Health and the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) to find out what had gone wrong.

A DoH spokesman said "thanks for letting us know" before adding that it was not responsible for the website.

El Reg initially drew a blank from the staffer* who answered the phone at the HSCIC - the body responsible for controversially collecting medical records from GPs and setting up and managing national IT systems for the NHS.

She told us: "I'm not au fait with the web, digital, etc," but added that she would get someone to call us back shortly.

The HSCIC eventually confirmed that it was working on a statement and would have something to say about the security cockup by lunchtime today.

NHS Choices said on its Twitter account:

Reddit user Muzzers, who first raised the alarm about the malware, said:

It seems that many pages include these malicious script tags ... which then kicks off the whole ordeal. Hiding the script under a malicious url instead of a valid


* Not an official spokesperson.


The NHS has sent us this comment:

An internal coding error has caused an incorrect re-direct on some pages on NHS Choices since Sunday evening. Routine security checks alerted us to this problem on Monday morning at which point we identified the problem and corrected the code.

We are now "flushing through" this correction to ensure that the code on all affected pages is amended and expect this to be completed this afternoon.

We can confirm that this problem has arisen due to an internal coding error and that NHS Choices has not been maliciously attacked.

NHS Choices is treating this issue with urgency and once resolved we plan to undertake a thorough and detailed analysis to ensure that a full code review is undertaken and steps put in place to ensure no reoccurrence.

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