IT Pro is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Hackers target hospital computer systems

Hospitals in both Spain and the Czech Republic have been recently hit by cyber attacks

Hospitals in Spain and the Czech Republic have been targeted by cyber criminals in efforts to compromise their computer systems while healthcare workers deal with a dramatic influx of patients due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Related Resource

How enterprises are embracing cyber security challenges

Enterprises across Europe, the Middle East and Africa are undergoing a significant transformation

Download now

The Spanish national police (Policía National) has warned hospitals of emails containing a “very dangerous and malicious virus” that is being sent to their staff, according to Spanish news outlet Murcia Today. The Policía National believes that the “entire computer system of Spain’s hospitals” is under threat of being compromised by hackers, in a time when the nation struggles to contain the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus. Spain is the second-worst hit European country, as coronavirus-related deaths surpassed 2,000 yesterday.

The warning comes almost two weeks after the one of the largest coronavirus testing facilities in the Czech Republic was forced to temporarily cancel surgeries and transfer new patients to other facilities as it became a target of cyber criminals.

“Gradually, the individual systems were falling, so all computers had to be shut down,” Jaroslav Šterba, director of the Brno University Hospital, told Česká televize. The hospital could not access its computer databases, so all information had to be written and transferred manually, making work even harder for healthcare professionals dealing with a pandemic.

“There are laboratories, haematology, microbiology, biochemistry and more sophisticated laboratories for tumour diagnostics, radiological systems work, but there is no possibility of transferring information from these laboratories to the database system,” explained Šterba.

In two days after the cyber attack took place, 12-13 March, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the Czechia more than doubled to 298, according to Healthcare IT News

Even the World Health Organisation is not immune to cyber attacks, as it revealed that it had been the target of an unsuccessful hacking attempt that occurred at the start of March - around the time coronavirus was declared a pandemic.

Featured Resources

Accelerating AI modernisation with data infrastructure

Generate business value from your AI initiatives

Free Download

Recommendations for managing AI risks

Integrate your external AI tool findings into your broader security programs

Free Download

Modernise your legacy databases in the cloud

An introduction to cloud databases

Free Download

Powering through to innovation

IT agility drive digital transformation

Free Download

Recommended

Senate report slams agencies for poor cyber security
cyber security

Senate report slams agencies for poor cyber security

3 Aug 2021
Most employees put their workplace at risk by taking cyber security shortcuts
cyber security

Most employees put their workplace at risk by taking cyber security shortcuts

27 Jul 2021

Most Popular

FCC commissioner urges Apple and Google to remove TikTok from app stores
data protection

FCC commissioner urges Apple and Google to remove TikTok from app stores

29 Jun 2022
Former Uber security chief to face fraud charges over hack coverup
data breaches

Former Uber security chief to face fraud charges over hack coverup

29 Jun 2022
Internet providers look to ease cost of living crisis with cheaper broadband
broadband

Internet providers look to ease cost of living crisis with cheaper broadband

29 Jun 2022