Investigation into Russian Ransomware Attack on London Hospitals Continues

Investigation into Russian Ransomware Attack on London Hospitals Continues

The ransomware attack that took place earlier this month on London hospitals by the Russian group Qilin has had far-reaching consequences. Hundreds of operations and appointments are still being canceled more than two weeks after the attack on NHS provider Synnovis, affecting King’s College, Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospital trusts, as well as clinics and doctors’ practices across southeast London. The attack was deemed a “critical incident” and had a “major impact” on services, particularly blood transfusions.

Reports have emerged regarding a data dump of patient records connected to the ransomware attack. Data including patient names, dates of birth, and descriptions of blood tests have been shared on darknet sites and Telegram channels by Qilin, totaling almost 400GB of information. The National Crime Agency and National Cyber Security Centre are working to verify the data included in the published files, but the process is expected to take weeks due to its complexity.

According to the Guardian newspaper, records covering 300 million patient interactions, including blood test results for HIV and cancer, were stolen during the attack. This massive breach has left patients in distress and may require re-testing to ensure accurate results. A website and helpline have been set up to assist affected patients during this challenging time.

Response and Investigation

The National Crime Agency has confirmed that it is leading the criminal investigation into the ransomware attack on London hospitals by Qilin. However, due to the ongoing nature of the investigation, detailed comments are currently unavailable. Ransomware attacks involve criminals paralyzing computer systems with malware and demanding money for their release. This form of cybercrime is costly and disruptive, affecting various sectors including local governments, hospitals, schools, and businesses.

Britain’s state-funded health system has been targeted in the past, with a notable ransomware attack occurring in 2017. Qilin, also known as Agenda, operates on dark web cybercrime forums and leases malware to affiliates to carry out attacks in exchange for a percentage of ransom payments. Over 100 victims have been listed by the group, showcasing the extent of their malicious activities.

The ransomware attack on London hospitals by the Russian group Qilin has had severe repercussions, with data breaches and operational disruptions affecting patient care. The ongoing investigation will shed light on the extent of the attack and hopefully lead to measures that prevent such incidents in the future. The threat posed by cybercriminals like Qilin highlights the importance of robust cybersecurity measures in protecting sensitive information and ensuring the safety of critical services.

Technology

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