One of the major COVID-19 testing laboratories in Czech hit by cyberattack

Pierluigi Paganini March 14, 2020

A cyber attack hit one of the major COVID-19 testing laboratories in Czech, the Brno University Hospital in the city of Brno.

While the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is spreading on a global scale, crooks and nation-state actors are launching Coronavirus-themed attacks against targets worldwide. The healthcare systems of any country are under pressure, for this reason, the news of a cyberattack against a hospital is regrettable.

Media are reporting that the Brno University Hospital, in Brno (Czech Republic), has been hit by a severe cyber attack.

The cyber-attack took place Thursday to Friday night, it caused the collapse of part of the network, all the computers were disconnected.

The hospital was forced to shut down the IT network, the attack also hit two other of the hospital’s branches, the Children’s Hospital and the Maternity Hospital.

“The information on cyber attack was confirmed by Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, who was informed by Jaroslav Šmíd, who now manages the National Office for Cyber ​​and Information Security.” reported the Idnes website.

“We are dealing with it, we are trying to secure the operation of the hospital,” said the hospital’s director Jaroslav Štěrba.

The administration at the hospital did not disclose the details of the attack, but the media reported that it had a significant impact on the operations at the Brno University Hospital. The structure was forced to postpone urgent surgical interventions and to transfer new acute patients to nearby St. Anne’s University Hospital.

“Our cybercrime specialists are already in place. We will not provide more information yet, ”Jaroslav Ibehej from the National Headquarters Against Organized Crime confirmed to Pravo.

“It happened from Thursday to Friday night, part of the network collapsed, all the computers were disconnected, we can’t operate. Currently, the crisis is currently being resolved by an operatively convened staff, ”said Pavel Žára, a spokesperson for the University Hospital Brno. 

“Gradually, individual systems were falling, so all computers had to be shut down,” Štěrba added.

Experts from the Czech National Cyber Security Center (NCSC), Czech police (NCOZ) and hospital’s IT staff are now working to recover operations at the hospital.

“There are laboratories, hematology, microbiology, biochemistry and more sophisticated laboratories for tumor diagnostics, radiological systems work, but there is no possibility of transferring information from these laboratories to the database system,” Štěrba explained. “We are able to investigate patients, but we are not yet able to store data. Patient care is maintained and we are working to be able to store data in hours, ”

It is not clear if testing capability at the hospital was impacted by the cyber-attack.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – COVID-19, cybercrime)

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