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French hospital forced to suspend operations, transfer patients after cyberattack

Versailles, France Edited By: Nishtha BadgamiaUpdated: Dec 05, 2022, 07:33 PM IST
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The hospital required additional staff for the intensive care unit (ICU) as while the machines were working they needed someone to monitor them since they were no longer a part of the network, said the health minister. (Representative Image) Photograph:(AP)

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Authorities at the Hospital Centre of Versailles which also includes Andre-Mignot Hospital, Richaud Hospital and the Despagne Retirement Home, said that they were affected by the hacking attempt.

Over the weekend, a hospital complex near France’s capital Paris, in Versailles was forced to shut its operations and transfer at least six patients after a cyber attack, said France's health ministry on Sunday. Meanwhile, a preliminary investigation has been opened based on the hospital’s formal complaint. 

Authorities at the Hospital Centre of Versailles which also includes Andre-Mignot Hospital, Richaud Hospital and the Despagne Retirement Home, said that they were affected by the hacking attempt. According to France’s Regional Health Agency (ARS), while the Andre-Mignot Hospital has suspended operations it is working to keep the walk-in services and consultations running. 

Furthermore, the French minister for social affairs and health, Francois Braun, also visited the hospital and said three patients from intensive care and three from the neonatal unit were transferred and others might follow, said a report by AFP.  

The hospital required additional staff for the intensive care unit (ICU) as the machines were working but they needed someone to monitor them since they were no longer a part of the network, said the health minister. He also spoke about how the incident has led to a complete “reorganization of the hospital”.  

Earlier this year, another hospital just outside Paris also witnessed a cyber attack and took several weeks to recover before it got back to normal functioning.

The Corbeil-Essonnes hospital was asked for a $10 million ransom which was later lowered to two million dollars. The hackers had given September 23 as the deadline after which they posted confidential files on the staff and patients on the dark web. 

France’s hospitals and health systems have recently witnessed “daily attacks”, said Braun. He added that most of these attempts have been prevented. Meanwhile, the prosecutor's office in Paris has opened a preliminary investigation after the hospital filed a formal complaint into hacking state data and attempted extortion, reported AFP. 

 

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