Russian Criminals Behind Cyber Attack on London Hospitals

In a recent cyber attack that has caused chaos in London hospitals, Russian hackers have been identified as the culprits. The former chief executive of the National Cyber Security Centre, Ciaran Martin, revealed that a criminal group known as Qilin, believed to be operating from Russia, targeted the pathology services firm Synnovis in search of money. The attack led to hospitals such as King’s College Hospital, Guy’s and St Thomas’, the Royal Brompton, and the Evelina London Children’s Hospital declaring a critical incident, affecting crucial services like blood transfusions and test results.

Mr. Martin emphasized that this ransomware attack was of a serious nature, where the system simply stopped functioning, causing significant disruptions in healthcare services. Despite the criminals threatening to publish data, the main priority remains the restoration of services for patient care. The attack has led to the postponement of operations and procedures, with some patients having their appointments cancelled and facing delays in crucial treatments.

As of the latest update, services at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, and primary care providers in south-east London continue to be impacted by the attack. Urgent and emergency services remain operational, but certain non-essential procedures have been affected due to the reliance on pathology services. Patients are advised to contact NHS services through the usual channels and attend appointments unless notified otherwise.

The cyber incident response team is working tirelessly to minimize disruptions and restore normalcy to healthcare services. Patients like Oliver Dowson, whose heart procedure was delayed due to the attack, reflect the frustrations and challenges faced by individuals seeking medical care during such cyber threats. Synnovis, the pathology services provider at the center of the attack, has been unable to provide further details regarding the incident, leaving many unanswered questions for patients and healthcare professionals alike.