The virus that forced three London hospitals to be shut down has been identified as the Mytob worm.


The worm caused St Bartholomew's, The Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, and The London Chest Hospital in Bethnal Green to shut down their entire computer systems. All three hospitals were operating with scaled-back services while technicians worked to fix the technical issues and restore the network.


Andrew Clarke, senior vice president, international at Lumension Security, said: “This type of problem has become increasingly common, but can be easily managed by restricting which applications can execute on an endpoint or server, with the use of Application Control (white-listing).


“The re-emergence of known viruses or mutated versions is a continuing problem for anti-virus technologies. In order to stop them each endpoint or server must have the correct signature in order to prevent the viruses causing any problem.


“A much better way to manage this situation is to have an environment where you only allow applications that you have approved to execute. In this way you would have to authorise a virus to work on your network- a situation that customers will want to avoid. This approach removes the technology and human failure rate by always defaulting to a ‘known good' rather than trying to manage a ‘known bad'.”