Major regional hospitals in Victoria hit by a ransomware attack

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Health services in Victoria took a major jolt when the IT infrastructures of some of the major regional hospitals operating in the region were hit by a ransomware attack. This includes Gippsland Health Alliance and South West Alliance of Rural Health along with health care service providers in Warrnambool, Colac, Geelong, Warragul, Sale, Bairnsdale, and other services in smaller towns.

Highly placed sources say that the services came to a halt since 3 Pm on Monday and the law enforcement agencies along with a third party Cybersecurity service provider from Melbourne have been pressed into service to deeply probe the incident.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews who is an official head to the government has assured that the emergency services will never be hit by the malware as the data recovery is in progress.

However, a source from the Office of Daniel says that patient data recovery could take weeks or even a month time.

David Cullen, the principal advisor for cyber incidents and emergency management at Victoria, Australia stated that the attack appears to be highly sophisticated as the hackers spent a lot of time in researching details of the hospital networks.

Appointment re-schedules, delay in patient care, digital communication across the hospital network is expected to take a hit with the ransomware attack.

As of now, no ransom demand has come to the notice of the government head Daniel or David Cullen.

A special team from the Victorian Police and the Australian Cyber Security Center has been formed to investigate the incident.

Michael O’Brien has lashed the government for showing laxity in implementing strict cybersecurity measures while maintaining Victoria’s health databases. He also stressed on the fact that the cyber attack was expected as per the alert issued by the state auditor general in May this year.

Note– Balmoral Bush Nursing Center, Barwon Health, Barwon South Western Regional Integrated Cancer Center, Casterton Memorial Hospital, Colac Area Health, Dartmoor Bush Nursing Center, Hesse Rural Health Service, Heywood Rural Health, Lorne Community Hospital, Moyne Health Services, Otway Health & Community Services, Portland District Health, Southwest Healthcare(Warrnambool) Terang & Mortlake Health Services, Timboon Healthcare and Western District Health Services come under the network of South West Alliance of Rural Health(SWARH).