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Registered: ‎06-12-2013

NHS websites awash with security vulnerabilities.

Ensure your WordPress site is running up-to-date software.

 

Websites run by Britain’s National Heath Service (NHS) are riddled with security vulnerabilities and could easily be exploited by online criminals, claims a newly-published investigation by Computer Active magazine.

Part of the problem is that there are *so* many NHS websites – over 5000 are thought to exist – covering a wide variety of purposes from GPs’ surgeries to websites that offer advice about how to give up smoking or advice for breastfeeding mothers.

Critically, however, there is no central body responsible for maintaining these websites and ensuring that they are secure and – according to Computer Active – that means they can often be abandoned and never updated, making it easy for malicious hackers to take advantage.

Most of the flaws found in the investigation are caused by out-of-date versions of the WordPress blogging and website-building software. WordPress is used by approximately 400 .nhs.uk websites, but alarmingly fewer than 50 are using the latest and most secure version of the software (version 3.8.1 at the time of writing).

 

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