Australian hospitals hit by cyber attack

Australian hospitals hit by cyber attack

Posted April 27, 2021

Australian hospitals hit by cyber attack

  • Some Queensland hospitals and health services have resorted to manual processing patients after a cyber attack brought down the IT systems of UnitingCare Queensland.
  • UnitingCare is the second Australian provider of health services to be crippled by a cyber attack in the last six weeks after Victoria’s Eastern Health was taken offline last month.
  • VMware cyber security strategist, Rick McElroy, said hospitals were a prime target for cyber attacks due to the potentially valuable personal information they hold.
  • “While the attack methods may vary, most cybercriminals are motivated by a financial incentive,” he said.
  • “Given the critical nature of data at healthcare organisations, they are often a prime target for attacks, as cybercriminals know patient care is on the line and organisations are more apt to pay.”
  • According to US cyber security company Coveware, 77 per cent of ransomware attacks in the first three months of this year involved a threat to leak stolen data.
  • That number is increasing as cyber criminals have moved toward the ‘double extortion’ model of ransomware in which the groups lock down a network and threaten to publish information unless a ransom is paid.

– Casey Tonkin | April 27, 2021