Computer and phone systems in more than a dozen hospitals and doctor’s offices across England suffered large-scale failures Friday in a suspected cyberattack.

The BBC broadcast a screen-shot of a message apparently sent to the National Health Service medical facilities demanding ransom for the unlocking of computer files that had been “encrypted” by the attack.

The demand specifies that payment should be made via bitcoin, an online currency.

The message’s authenticity could not be independently verified.

A statement from NHS Digital — the computer services arm of the health service — said at least 16 hospitals or doctor’s offices had been directly affected by the attack.

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