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Belgian Hospital Reroutes Critical Patients after Cyberattack

Alina BÎZGĂ

January 22, 2021

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Belgian Hospital Reroutes Critical Patients after Cyberattack

On Sunday evening, the CHwapi hospital in Belgium suffered a cyberattack that prompted the facility to redirect emergency patients to other hospitals and delay surgical procedures.

As reported by local media group L”Avenir, 80 of the hospital center”s 300 servers were affected by the attack, forcing staff and nurses to abandon digital entries and turn to pen and paper for patient assessments. Patient data was not compromised, according to CHwapi.

While regular consultations and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines were not disrupted, the medical facility was forced to delay surgical operations and information sessions for future parents.

Although the hospital said it received no ransom demand, the group allegedly responsible for the attack got in touch with BleepingComputer, stating that they used Windows BitLocker to encrypt 40 hospital servers housing 100TB of data.

“We attack chwapi hospital in belgium 2 days ago.and set up a ransom notes on servers. but IT management team not give this information to hospital management.hospital management make a press release and said there is no ransom note,but this is a lie.something is going on,” the cybercriminals explained.

The threat actors apparently used Windows BitLocker to encrypt CHwapi”s file and backup servers, stating that they do not steal or leak data.

Officials said any patients affected by hospital service disruptions will be notified by telephone, where possible, adding that they are working hard to return operations to normal as soon as possible.

As a precaution, the hospital has completely cut off any communications with the outside world. “We do not communicate with the outside and we do not receive anything either before having made an even more precise diagnosis of what is happening internally,” Didier Delval, general director of CHwapi, said in statement.

The regional crime unit was called on the scene to assist the hospital”s IT department. While attempts at full systems recovery are made, local police has already contacted Interpol to seek to identity the perps.

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