The largest NHS hospital trust was infected with a ransomware virus on Friday. The trust has ensured it will be doing all it can to avoid service disruption at all four infected hospitals: The Royal London, St. Bartholomew’s, Whipps Cross and Newham. An investigation is currently taking place.
According to a message that was sent to staff at Barts Health Trust on Friday morning, the trust’s four hospitals, The Royal London, St. Bartholomew’s, Whipps Cross and Newham, have been experiencing a “ransomware virus attack.” The trust has ensured that it is making “every effort” to avoid service disruption to the four hospitals.
A trust spokesman said: ”We are urgently investigating this matter and have taken a number of drives offline as a precautionary measure. We have tried and tested contingency plans in place and are making every effort to ensure that patient care will not be affected.”
This isn’t the first recent ransomware attack that happened in the UK. Last October, Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Foundation was also hit with a ransomware attack, where the virus made their files inaccessible.
This attack had begun from “phishing emails”, where certain emails, once opened, would open a malicious website link or attachment that would release a virus in the system.
The trust had to cancel 2,800 patient appointments during 48 hours, when the systems were shut down. The government had warned in October that the NHS was at risk of cyber attacks, explaining that hacking is “no longer the stuff of spy thrillers and action movies,” but a growing realistic threat.
Minister for Cabinet, Ben Gummer said hackers are targeting “large quantities of sensitive data” at the NHS and the Government. He also warned that hackers could also try to “disrupt” the UK’s energy, water and transport networks.