A ransomware attack paralyzed the systems at the Oloron-Sainte-Marie hospital in southwest France. The incident took place on Monday, the ransomware gang is demanding the payment of a ransom of $50,000 worth of Bitcoin.
The infection was first discovered by Rémi Rivière, an engineer in charge of all the installations, on March 8 afternoon. In response to the attack, the IT staff took offline part of the hospital network to prevent the spread of the malware.
“We reacted as quickly as possible. This virus is of the Ransomware type, the same one that hit the Dax hospital a month ago. Hackers enter the hospital’s computer system and encrypt all the data which makes them unreadable for our services and then sends a ransom demand message in exchange for their original return.“ said a spokesman for the hospital.
Attacks against hospitals and health care organizations are very dangerous, especially during the ongoing pandemic, At the time of the attack, the French hospital was taking part in vaccination efforts against Covid-19.
The operations were heavily impacted by the ransomware attack, digital patient records are not available, and forced the personnel to work with pens and paper. The infection also affected the system used to monitor medicine stocks and other supplies.
“We might get our systems back in 48 hours or in three months,” hospital director Frederic Lecenne told local newspaper La Republique des Pyrenees.
In February, two other hospitals in France were hit with ransomware attacks.
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(SecurityAffairs – hacking, ransomware)