Unknown hackers attack Saint-Pierre University Hospital in Brussels
The leading medical institution of the country worked in a limited mode for several days.
Saint-Pierre University Hospital (Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Saint-Pierre) is located in the center of Brussels (Belgium) and is one of the country’s leading medical centers. The hospital was founded in 1905 and today provides medical services in more than 50 specialized departments and clinics. The institution has highly qualified staff and uses modern equipment to provide patients with the best quality of care.
On the night of March 10, the hospital’s computer servers began to slow down and soon stopped responding. Computer technicians spent several hours figuring out the causes of the failure and came to the conclusion that they were dealing with a cyber attack. It is not entirely clear from media reports whether this was a regular DDoS attack or a targeted hack. However, for security reasons, the hospital’s servers were temporarily disabled, and employees had to return to traditional paper workflow.
“As a precautionary measure, we are sending ambulances to neighboring institutions, but if someone comes to the emergency room, we are quite capable of taking care of him,” declared CEO of Saint-Pierre. “At this point, we have not noticed any theft or leakage of medical data, but we continue to remain vigilant.”
Cyber attacks on European medical institutions have become more frequent in recent years. For example, the day before the attack on a Belgian hospital, a similar attack affected one of the French hospitals. It is possible that the same hacker group was involved in both incidents. And early last week, the extortionist gang Ransom House successfully implemented ransomware into the internal systems of Barcelona’s largest hospital, the Clinic de Barcelona.
Definitely, one can only be glad that not all medical equipment is available for connection from the outside, so hackers, although they can slow down the work of hospitals, they cannot affect critical equipment. This means that the lives and health of ordinary patients are safe.