Attackers Demand $10m Ransom From French Hospital

A major hospital in Corbeil-Essonnes, southeast of Paris, has been targeted by a cyber attack, causing major disruption to services. The hackers made its demands in English soon after the attack started late night on Saturday 20th August. Since the attack, clinicians have had to access data and write prescriptions by hand.

The hackers have demanded a $10 million ransom to unblock the system, but the hospital’s director says it will not pay. The attack is being investigated by the Centre for Combating Digital Crime (C3N) a division of the gendarmerie

The hospital has a 1,000 bed capacity and covers a population of about 600,000 in the Ile de France region. 
It triggered a “white plan” emergency operation on Sunday 21st August, following the start of the attack to ensure some health services could be maintained.

The IT system at the hospital centre in Corbeil-Essonnes has been virtually paralysed by a cyber attack. Non-critical services have had to be directed elsewhere, and staff are now working with limited resources. "Each day we need to rewrite patients' medications, all the prescriptions, the discharge prescriptions," said Valerie Caudwell, the president of the medical commission of the CHSF hospital... For the nurses, instead of putting in all the patients' data on the computer, they now need to file it manually from scratch."

"You know the hospital would not pay, has not paid and will not pay this type of ransom," said CHSF director Gilles Calmes.

Police specialising in cyber crime are investigating. Cyber attacks targeting hospitals in France have been increasing recently, with 380 last year, a 70 percent rise from 2020. Paris prosecutor's office has opened an investigation into the hacking of the hospital's computer system and the attempted extortion by an organised gang.
According to the prosecutor's office, the investigation is being spearheaded by the gendarme's Centre for Combating Digital Crime division.

This latest cyber attack is once again aimed at a hospital, a sector that has consistently been the target of ransomware attacks. For several months, French hospitals have been under fire from cyber criminals. In April, the computer systems belonging to nine of the hospitals in France’s Grand Est region also experienced ransomware attacks.

France24:   Techmonitor:   Le Monde:  RFI:   Cybertalk:   Information Security BuzzBitDefender:   Dark Reading:

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