Ransomware Disrupts Hospital Services in Romania and FranceEmergency Services Are Suspended as Digital Systems Are Pulled Offline
The Romanian National Cyber Security Directorate - known as DNSC - said that at least 20 hospitals in the country had been knocked offline due to a ransomware attack on their third-party healthcare management system.
Hackers in the early hours of Sunday morning targeted and disabled the Hippocrates Information System, which hospitals use to automate the activities related to the diagnosis and treatment of patients.
Around the same time that ransomware attack took place, a hospital in France fell victim to a similar malware attack, but a link between the two attacks could not be established.
A recent study on the effects of ransomware on U.S. hospitals, published by public health researchers, says that ransomware attacks increase the in-hospital mortality rate for patients already admitted to the hospitals on the date the attack is discovered. It also says that that the hospital doesn't recover to a pre-attack number of patients for two to three weeks.
The Centre Hospitalier d'Armentières, a French hospital that serves around 200,000 residents of its vicinity, confirmed a ransomware attack when the hospital's printers started printing ransom messages, around 2:00 a.m. local time, the hospital management said in statement posted on Facebook. "Our printers printed threatening messages on their own saying that our data was encrypted and that we had to go to a website," Samy Bayod, the director of the hospital center, told local media.
Within an hour, personnel disconnected all PCs from the hospital's main network, the official statement says. The hospital suspended all emergency services - including emergency rooms, consultations and operation theaters for non-urgent surgeries - for 24 hours.