For the second time, a French hospital has fallen victim to a cyberattack. The hospital of Versailles, near Paris, was attacked in early December. French Health Minister François Braun said that several patients had to be transferred. Two hospital sites and a nursing home were affected by the attack. The attack resulted in limited patient admissions, a shutdown of the EDP system and the deployment of a crisis team. Further, the attack led to the need for more staff in the intensive care unit. All the equipment was working, but since data transmission was not possible, “more people were needed to monitor patients in the ICU.” Braun said after a tour. Three critically ill patients had to be transferred out of the ICU. However, the cyberattack was noticed early enough that all data protection measures could be taken, Braun continued.
The Paris prosecutor’s office has launched preliminary investigations. The charges are: attempted extortion and intrusion into a government computer system. Hospitals and also other healthcare institutions in France have been victims of cyberattacks several times in recent months. Confidential patient data has been locked, unauthorized disclosures have been made and equipment has been rendered inoperable by hacker groups.
In another case, hackers had attacked a hospital south of Paris, disrupting operations for weeks and demanding a ransom of ten million dollar. After a deadline passed without a ransom being paid, the hackers posted patient and staff data on the dark web. But such attacks have not only happened in France; other European countries, including Germany, have also fallen victim to cyberattacks.