A Hospital Hack Caused A Patient To Die

German police have now begun an investigation after hackers took-down the computer systems at Düsseldorf University Hospital and a woman patient died while doctors attempted to transfer her to another hospital. The female patient was suffering from a life-threatening illness and was due to have life-saving treatment, but had to be turned away on the night of 11 September by the city’s university hospital and she died after the ambulance carrying her was diverted to another hospital (20 miles) away.

Medical staff believe the woman died from the delay in treatment after hackers attacked a hospital’s computer system. 

Cologne prosecutors have now officially launched a negligent homicide case saying that the hackers could be blamed for the death. One expert said, if confirmed, it would be the first known case of a life being lost as a result of a hack.

The ransomware attack hit the hospital on the night of 9 September, scrambling data and making computer systems inoperable. Such attacks are one of the most serious threats in cybersecurity with dozens of high profile attacks so far this year. The attackers can demand large payments in crypto-currency Bitcoin in exchange for a software key that unlocks IT systems. 

Some local reports suggest the hackers did not intend to attack the hospital and in fact were trying to target a different university. Once the hackers had realised their mistake it is reported they gave the hospital the decryption key without demanding payment before disappearing.

Germany’s cyber security agency, the Federal Office for Information Security, was called in to shore up the hospital’s systems. Its chief, Arne Schönbohm, said the Citrix flaw had been known about since December 2019 and called on healthcare facilities not to delay IT security upgrades.

Ciaran Martin who stepped down as the head of Britain’s National Cyber Security Centre recently said, “If confirmed, this  tragedy would be the first case I know of, anywhere in the world, where the death of a human life can be linked in any way to a cyber-attack,” he told a Royal United Services Institute event in London.

“The bad news is that causing disruption, pain and economic harm through cyber-attack and even putting small numbers of people indirectly at risk as we’ve seen with ransomware remains too easy for my liking ... The better news is that killing large numbers of people by cyber-attack deliberately remains thankfully quite hard.... The capabilities to do it are in the hands of only a very small number of nation-states and it is currently not in the interest of any of them any more than it is to fire live rounds at their adversaries.”

Martin also said that although in his time as NCSC chief executive he never had to declare a “category one” cyber-attack, the most severe type of national incident, it did not mean they may not in the future.

BBC:       Guardian:       NY Times:    Shropshire Star

You Might Also Read: 

Easy: Hackers Take Down A Hospital:

 

« Cyber Security Should Be A Mandatory Requirement
Foreign Influence In The American Election Of 2020 Is Declining »

CyberSecurity Jobsite
Perimeter 81

Directory of Suppliers

IT Governance

IT Governance

IT Governance is a leading global provider of information security solutions. Download our free guide and find out how ISO 27001 can help protect your organisation's information.

Authentic8

Authentic8

Authentic8 transforms how organizations secure and control the use of the web with Silo, its patented cloud browser.

BackupVault

BackupVault

BackupVault is a leading provider of completely automatic, fully encrypted online, cloud backup.

CSI Consulting Services

CSI Consulting Services

Get Advice From The Experts: * Training * Penetration Testing * Data Governance * GDPR Compliance. Connecting you to the best in the business.

XYPRO Technology

XYPRO Technology

XYPRO is the market leader in HPE Non-Stop Security, Risk Management and Compliance.

FREE eBook: Practical Guide To Optimizing Your Cloud Deployments

FREE eBook: Practical Guide To Optimizing Your Cloud Deployments

AWS Marketplace eBook: Optimizing your cloud deployments to accelerate cloud activities, reduce costs, and improve customer experience.

ZenGRC

ZenGRC

ZenGRC - the first, easy-to-use, enterprise-grade information security solution for compliance and risk management - offers businesses efficient control tracking, testing, and enforcement.

Perimeter 81

Perimeter 81

Perimeter 81 is a Zero Trust Network as a Service designed to simplify secure network, cloud and application access for the modern and distributed workforce.

Clayden Law

Clayden Law

Clayden Law are experts in information technology, data privacy and cybersecurity law.

Syxsense

Syxsense

Syxsense brings together endpoint management and security for greater efficiency and collaboration between IT management and security teams.

Netskope

Netskope

The Netskope Security Cloud provides unrivaled visibility and real-time data and threat protection when accessing cloud services, websites, and private apps from anywhere, on any device.

Direct Recruiters Inc

Direct Recruiters Inc

Direct Recruiters is a relationship-focused search firm that assists IT Security and Cybersecurity companies with recruiting high-impact talent.

Boxcryptor

Boxcryptor

Boxcryptor encrypts your sensitive files before uploading them to cloud storage services.

Protocol Policy Systems

Protocol Policy Systems

Protocol Policy Systems specialise in IT policy deployment and management systems that deliver compliance and secure computing environments.

TrulyProtect

TrulyProtect

TrulyProtect provides a suite of Code Security Tools that protect creators of software against Reverse Engineering, Modification and Theft of Algorithmic and other coded-IP.

TruNarrative

TruNarrative

TruNarrative provides a unified solution for Identity Verification, Fraud Detection, eKYC, Risk Assessment, AML Compliance and Account Monitoring.

Cyber Science

Cyber Science

Cyber Science is the flagship conference of C-MRiC, focusing on pioneering research and innovation in Cyber Situational Awareness, Social Media, Cyber Security and Cyber Incident Response.

Go Grow

Go Grow

Go Grow is a business oriented accelerator program at Copenhagen School of Entrepreneurship. Targeted technologies include IoT, AI and Cybersecurity.