In the UK, Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust (NHS) experienced a ‘virus outbreak’ and while the exact virus hasn’t been named, due to the severity of the event it was likely ransomware. On its website, NHS explained that it had “taken the decision, following expert advice, to shut down the majority of our systems to we can isolate and destroy it. All planned operations, outpatient appointments, and diagnostic procedures have been cancelled for Wednesday, Nov. 2 with a small number of exceptions.” As of today, the majority of NHS’ systems were back online and functioning.
NHS has continued to see inpatients which included appointments for audiology, pediatrics, and chemotherapy. More severe cases such as women in labor were sent to neighboring hospitals.
According to Tim Erlin, Senior Director, IT Security and Risk Strategy for Tripwire, “The worst time to create an incident response plan is during an incident. At this point there can be little doubt that cyberattacks can impact human safety. We’re no longer talking about protecting data or credit card theft alone.”
The cyberattack at NCH preceded the launch of the UK’s five-year National Cyber Security Strategy which will fund billions in cybersecurity spending as well as create special police units dedicated to fighting cybercriminal groups.