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NHS invites hackers (ethical ones)

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Do you fancy having a crack at hacking the NHS? Well, give it a go and they’ll pay you for it.

The health service, which saw a third of its trusts struck by the WannaCry ransomware virus earlier in the year, is seeking so-called ‘ethical hackers’ to test its networks for weaknesses (I assume they won’t hand you over to the police if you successfully breach their systems, but it’s probably worth checking first).

The initiative is part of a new £20 million project launched by NHS Digital’s Security Operations Centre, which it says will boost its monitoring service, its on-site security assessments, and the support it offers NHS organisations that have been victims of cybersecurity incidents.

Furthermore, NHS Digital is now on the hunt for a partner to get involved with the project, and is offering a three to five-year contract.

Dan Taylor, Head of the Digital Security Centre, said: ‘The partnership will provide access to extra specialist resources during peak periods and enable the team to proactively monitor the web for security threats and emerging vulnerabilities. It will also allow us to improve our current capabilities in ethical hacking, vulnerability testing and the forensic analysis of malicious software, and will improve our ability to anticipate future vulnerabilities while supporting health and care in remediating current known threats.

‘By creating a national, near-real-time monitoring and alerting service that covers the whole health and care system, the SOC will drive economies of scale, giving health and care organisations additional intelligence and support services that they might not otherwise be able to access.’

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