French Hospital Suffers Ransomware Attack:
Hackers Demand $10M

French hospital paralyzed by $10M Ransomware attack

A French hospital was left crippled by a Ransomware attack forcing it to transfer patients elsewhere and switch to pen and paper, as the attack rendered several of its IT systems inaccessible.

French hospital CHSF (Center Hospitalier Sud Francilien), a 1000-bed healthcare facility, has found itself in troubled waters after a recent Ransomware attack forcing the healthcare provider to transfer patients to other medical establishments, postpone surgery appointments and resort to pen and paper administration processes. The hospital serves the Ile de France region and the disruption has endangered the health and lives of more than 500,000 people.

Decoding the attack

A wide range of the hospital’s IT systems were paralyzed by the attack with hackers supposedly demanding $10m to call off the attack and unlock the breached systems. Hackers have declared that they would release sensitive patient data if the hospital fails to meet their demand.

The attack caused the hospital’s storage systems including medical imaging systems, business software, and critical patient information systems (admissions, appointments, etc.) to go inaccessible leading to massive disruption endangering lives and health, said a CHSF representative.

For patients requiring access to the hospital’s IT and technical systems, the staff had to redirect them to other care facilities in the vicinity. For patients in emergency rooms, the hospital’s medical staff transferred them to other healthcare institutions, if deemed necessary.

If history has taught us anything, it is that care diversion has led to serious impacts on patient care eventually leading to morbidity risks. Such delays in clinical management could affect decision making thus, compromising outcomes. This is one of the reasons tech leaders and security experts recommend seeking assistance from a trusted cyber security services provider.

The most concerning part is that the authorities at CHSF had to divert patients to nearby care centers and facilities, as the hospital worked to contain the breach. According to the French daily ‘Le Monde’, the hackers have demanded a ransom of $10m and the investigation has been directed to the C3N cybercrime unit. Though the ransom value has stirred the news, it is actually the sensitive patient data under question here said a cyber security services expert.

We are rewriting patients’ medications, prescriptions, and related medical information instead of keying in the data on a computer system. We are now filing it manually and on papers, said a CHSF representative.

Why CHSF Ransomware incident is a wakeup call for hospitals worldwide?

Attackers have been increasingly targeting mission-critical infrastructure of healthcare organizations around the world. A few months back, Shields Health Care Group (a Massachusetts-based healthcare company) suffered severe disruptions from a cyberattack. The attack was termed the biggest healthcare breach of 2022 by cyber security services experts. The breach compromised sensitive information of more than 2 million patients.

Another instance is that of Eye Care Leaders attack, a leading provider of ophthalmology related EHR and medical practice management solutions that suffered a data breach affecting over eight different care providers. The attack reportedly ripped open and exposed data of more than 1.5 million patients.

Healthcare Cybersecurity Statistics
Source: Accenture

Cyberattacks targeting healthcare and emergency service providers/networks can have huge implications. For instance, a German woman lost her life to a cyberattack. Yes, the system at the Dusseldorf University Clinic went offline post a breach, forcing the emergency medical staff to move the patient to a different clinic facility located 20 miles away, resulting in delayed treatment, thus costing her life. (Source: Tech Monitor)

It’s time for hospitals to get serious about cybersecurity

There are various reasons to why healthcare providers and organizations are sweet targets for cybercriminals. The most common reason – access to sensitive patient data. It is high time healthcare providers and hospitals get their heads into cybersecurity and equip themselves with the right layers of security resources and expertise. Cybercriminals see a feast of opportunities in today’s digital-first era and all it takes is a loosely secured endpoint or vulnerability for the attacker to slide in.

Most hospitals overlook the importance of prioritizing cybersecurity. Moreover, they lack dedicated and certified security experts to look after the various security concerns. This is why it is advisable to seek expert help from a trusted cyber security services provider.

The CHSF Ransomware attack is a stark reminder for hospitals across the globe to prioritize cyber security services. Cybercriminals are well-versed with the fact that most hospitals run on old-school technology and lack the required security skills.

Getting help from a trusted cyber security services provider is an excellent way to counter advanced cyberattacks. Futurism’s managed security services leverage advanced threat intelligence technology (IBM) to help healthcare providers strengthen their security infrastructure by deploying the most advanced layers of protection across the fast-evolving threat landscape, all in a cost-iterative and seamless manner.

Disclaimer: All the information, opinions and views expressed in this article are those of the web authors and their respective sources and in no way reflect the principles, objectives or views of Futurism Technologies.

About Futurism Technologies

Futurism Technologies is a trusted Digital Transformation (DX) advisor and consulting partner helping businesses around the world to unlock the true value of digital for the last two decades. One of the fastest-growing global digital transformation companies with offices across continents including North America, Europe, the Gulf, Asia, and Australia, Futurism delivers 360-degree Digital Transformation solutions to enterprises of all sizes and verticals. We have been helping enterprises leverage advanced technologies with our tested DX solutions. Futurism takes great pride in helping businesses realize the true potential of digital by helping them leverage the most from coming-of-age technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Robotic Process Automation (RPA), 5G, IoT, Data Science/Big Data, Cybersecurity, Blockchain, Mobility, Product Engineering, Cloud, and more.

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