NHS Computers Taken Offline After Barts Health Malware Attack:

A Barts Health malware attack resulted in the shutdown of hospital IT systems on Friday last week as the UK NHS Trust attempted to address the damage caused and limit the infection.

Barts Health is the biggest NHS Trust in the United Kingdom, managing six hospitals in the capital: Mile End Hospital, Newham University Hospital, St Bartholomew’s Hospital, The London Chest Hospital, The Royal London Hospital, and Whipps Cross University Hospital.

The Barts Health malware attack took place on Friday 13, 2016. Given the number of ransomware attacks on healthcare groups in recent months, rumors started to quickly get around that this was another healthcare ransomware attack.

A statement was released on Friday claiming the Trust had suffered an ‘IT attack,’ and that as a precaution, a number of drives were taken offline to stop the spread of the infection. The type of malware that had been downloaded was not known, although the NHS trust did say in its statement that it did not believe ransomware was part of the attack.

A number of drives were shut down after the discovery of the malware including those used by the pathology department, although patient data were not impacted and the NHS Trust’s Cerner Millennium patient administration system remained operational, as did the systems used by the radiology department.

Today, Barts Health says that all of its systems are back online and the infection has been eradicated. Medical services for patients were not impacted, although Barts Health said due to the need for requests to be processed manually, it may take a few days for the pathology department to address the backlog.

Barts Health also confirmed that at no point were patient medical records impacted. No mention has been made about how the malware was downloaded and the type of malware involved was not revealed. However, the Barts Health malware attack involved a form of malware that had not previously been seen and was a ‘Trojan Malware.’

The Trust commented “whilst it had the potential to do significant damage to computer network files, our measures to contain the virus were successful”.

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Elizabeth Hernandez

Elizabeth Hernandez is a news writer on Defensorum. Elizabeth is an experienced journalist who has worked on many publications for several years. Elizabeth writers about compliance and the related areas of IT security breaches. Elizabeth's has focus on data privacy and secure handling of personal information. Elizabeth has a postgraduate degree in journalism. Elizabeth Hernandez is the editor of HIPAAZone. https://twitter.com/ElizabethHzone