The Oloron-Sainte-Marie hospital in turn targeted by a cyber attack

This is the third cyberattack recorded in a month in a hospital environment, after those which paralyzed the hospitals of Dax and Villefranche-sur-Saône.

A large-scale cyberattack has hit the Oloron-Sainte-Marie hospital center (Pyrénées-Atlantiques) since Monday, severely disrupting its computer system, the third in a hospital in a month.

This hospital, which employs some 600 people for 321 beds and places in this sub-prefecture, was hit by an attack of “ransomware(Ransomware) by which hackers break into the computer system and then encrypt its files to make them inoperative, demanding a ransom to unlock them. On the screens of the Oloron hospital, messages in English appeared demanding a ransom of $ 50,000 in bitcoins (crypto currency). Since she was spotted Monday by an engineer in charge of the establishment’s IT infrastructure, agents have been using paper and pencils.

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The cyberattack affects most of the data related to patient health information, which could lead to postponements of some interventions, failing a rapid return to normalcy, the management explained. It also complicates the – computerized – management of drug stocks, but without calling into question the vaccination campaign against Covid-19, at this stage. In addition, the telephone within the hospital is still working, said management, who specified that an audit of the hospital’s computer systems had been carried out, following recent cyber attacks on other establishments.

This is the third cyberattack recorded in a month in a hospital environment after those which paralyzed the hospitals of Dax (Landes) and Villefranche-sur-Saône (Rhône), on February 8 and 15, and following which President Emmanuel Macron announced.

A complaint was lodged with the gendarmerie and the cybercrime unit of the Pau gendarmerie went there, alongside agents from the National Agency for the Security of Information Systems (Anssi), cybersecurity gendarme on the territory. An investigation was opened for attempted extortion, and as in the cases of Dax and Villefranche-sur-Saône, the Pau public prosecutor’s office indicated that they had withdrawn in favor of the cybercrime section of the Paris public prosecutor’s office, which has national jurisdiction. in the matter.

«We have disconnected all workstations to limit losses“, Explained the director of the hospital Frédéric Lecenne on a daily basis. The Republic of the Pyrenees. «We can recover our networks in 48 hours, as in three months“. Healthcare establishments have become privileged targets of the cyber threat since the health crisis, “the attack arguably making it easier for hospitals to pay the ransom given the critical need for business continuity“, According to a report from Anssi.