Saturday 13 May 2017

Exposing Amber Rudd's lamentable gibberish about cyber security

In the wake of the WannaCry ransomware attack on the NHS, the Home Secretary Amber Rudd gave a number of excruciating interviews in which she talked a load of lamentable rubbish.

The mainstream media simply haven't Tories to account. Rather than focusing on the astounding negligence that allowed such a big attack to happen, much of the mainstream media have been passing the story off as a "one of those things" type of event, and refusing to subject the nonsense Amber Rudd was spouting to critical scrutiny.

Where's Jeremy?

Before we get to dissecting the absolute crap Amber Rudd was talking about the NHS ransomware attack, it's worth asking why she was wheeled out to talk about it rather than the actual health minister Jeremy Hunt. Presumably Hunt was hiding because he's even more IT illiterate than the Amber Rudd, which is a terrifying thought given how much contemptible rubbish she spouted herself.

They were warned

On the actual morning before the attack the British Medical Journal published an article by Dr Krishna Chinthapalli, a neurology registrar at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London. The article identified the lax attitude to cyber security and warned that hospitals are "ideal targets" for ransomware attacks, and that "hospitals will almost certainly be shut down by ransomware this year".

If a neurology registrar was aware of this kind of threat and warning about it, what excuse do the Tories have for sitting on their hands.

Seven years warning!

The Tories had seven years warning that Microsoft would be turning off security updates on the outdated Windows XP system, however it's been estimated that some 90% of NHS hospitals are still using this outdated operating system.

In 2014 there was the option of a rolling one-year renewal of the protection for  NHS systems still using XP but the Tories turned it down in order to save a paltry £5.5 million. As a result the NHS is facing an enormous bill to recover the damage caused by this ransomware attack.

The Tory government sat on their hands and did virtually nothing, leaving the NHS extremely vulnerable to this attack, yet the majority of the press are playing this story as if it's "just one of those things" and refusing to subject Amber Rudd's comments to the critical scrutiny they so thorughly deserve.

Astounding negligence

Here are some damning statistics [source]

  • The average annual spend on cyber security across England's NHS trusts is a paltry £22,000! 
  • 43 NHS Trusts admitted that they don't know how much they spend.
  • 7 NHS trusts (covering two million patients) admitted that they spend absolutely nothing!
If these statistics aren't compelling proof of the Tory government's calamitously negligent attitude towards cyber security, then I really don't know what is.

Not the time for boasting

In response to this ransomware attack Amber Rudd had the gall to claim that "the UK is a world leader in cyber security".

If hackers can disable our vital infrastructure and services so easily because of the government's incredibly lax approach to dealing with vulnerabilities that they were repeatedly warned about, we're clearly not a world leader in cyber security are we?

The idea that the aftermath of probably the most humiliating cyber security cock up in history is the time for actually bragging about how wonderful our cyber security measures are is so out-of-touch with reality it would be comical if it weren't so damned serious.

Confused priorities

Instead of focusing on the task of ensuring that our vital national infrastructure and services are safe from hacking and acts of cyber-terrorism Amber Rudd and the Tories focused their efforts on passing the Snoopers' Charter.

The Tories were so utterly fixated on enabling the Food Standards Agency, the Gambling Commission, the Health and Safety Executive and dozens of other non-terrorism related government agencies to trawl through the private communications data of innocent people, that they left the door wide open to this kind of cyber attack.

Rudd has clearly confused cyber-security with cyber surveillance. The NHS ransomware debacle is absolute proof that the Tories are dangerously negligent when it comes to cyber security.

What we're world leaders at is intrusive and oppressive cyber surveillance laws that would have made the Soviet KGB or the East German Stasi turn green with envy.

Backed up?

Amber Rudd told BBC Breakfast that she didn't know whether the NHS files that are being held to ransom are even backed up.

If there was ever an example of an unprepared minister not knowing what the hell they're talking about, this was it ... Yet somehow the mainstream media have not fixated anything like as much on this car crash demonstration of incompetence as they did on Diane Abbott's inconsequential display of innumeracy last week.

Lessons to be learnt

Perhaps the most astounding of Amber Rudd's responses to the biggest cyber attack the NHS has ever suffered was the observation that " "There may be lessons to learn from this".

There is no doubt about it whatever. Of course there are bloody lessons to learn from this.

One of the main lessons for us to learn is not to trust the Tories to protect our nation's vital infrastructure and services from cyber attacks, because despite repeated warnings 
that something like this was virtually inevitable, they negligently allowed this attack to happen on their watch.

More media bias

We all saw how the mainstream press relentlessly attacked and ridiculed the shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott after she jumbled up her numbers when trying to promote what is actually a very good policy of reversing the savage Tory police cuts by hiring an extra 10,000 police

Yes the car crash interview was excruciating, and no I'm not saying that such ineptitude didn't deserve coverage, but the problem is the way the mainstream press have simply let the actual Home Secretary Amber Rudd get away with talking absolute gubbins in a series of car crash interview about this NHS ransomware attack.

Some inconsequential innumeracy from Diane Abbott dominates the news agenda for a whole day, but Amber Rudd spouting lamentable nonsense over a massive Tory cock-up barely gets any critical scrutiny at all!


Amber Rudd has clearly demonstrated that she's miles out of her depth; that she's unwilling to accept any Tory responsibility for the atrocious negligence that preceded this attack; and that she's even got the brass neck to boast about how great things are in the wake of this humiliating failure.

But instead of hold her to account and subject her pathetic nonsense to any kind of actual scrutiny, swathes of the mainstream press have dutifully regurgitated her ludicrous comments entirely free from any critical analysis whatever.

The fact that the mainstream media fixated so much on Diane Abbott's inconsequential display of innumeracy, yet they let Amber Rudd completely off the hook for talking such contemptible garbage about an incredibly negligent Tory cock up, is yet another demonstration of the way a significant proportion of the mainstream media are intent on blatantly favouring the Tories.

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