Hospital says computer crash due to suspected ransomware attack

Taipei-The Yuan's General Hospital said Saturday that its network server might have fallen prey to a possible ransomware attack, after many of its administrative computers became paralyzed this week.

According to the Kaohsiung hospital, the disruption took place early Wednesday, forcing medical staff to complete their administrative work manually.

Chang Chao-chin (???), deputy director of the hospital's information and technology department, said that fortunately, the virus did not affect the computers of its clinical and emergency rooms, so that physicians were able to continue delivering patient care without interruption.

The hospital said it suspects the attack to have been ransomware, following recent incidents in which several hospitals and health centers across the country have reported sustained periods of network server downtime.

Pang I-ming (???), a section chief of the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW), said Saturday that so far, it has received reports of over a dozen hospitals that have been hit with denial-of-access (DoS) attacks.

A DoS attack is a ransomware in which the perpetrator seeks to make a machine or network resource unavailable to its intended users by temporarily or indefinitely disrupting services of a host connected to the Internet.

In most cases, hackers typically begin with a low-level attack and a warning that a larger attack will be carried out if a ransom is not paid in Bitcoins.

Pang said the ministry became aware Thursday when its Taipei Hospital reported a DoS attack, in which many of its computers were paralyzed.

The network server was quickly restored to normal, he said, adding that the hospital has already taken steps to secure and reinforce its systems to prevent possible future attacks.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel