Derriford hospital hit by ransomware

Petya ransomware overwrites MBRs and leverages cloud services.
Petya ransomware overwrites MBRs and leverages cloud services.

A Freedom of Information (FoI) request filed by the Plymouth Herald has revealed that Plymouth's Derriford Hospital has suffered a ransomware attack.

According to the Plymouth Herald, trust bosses say the attack was dealt with quickly and no patient data was released.

A hospital spokesperson told  the Plymouth Herald that, "The particular incident referred to was an opportunistic 'phishing' form of general malware, not a targeted attack on the trust and the trust was not directly approached for payment.”

The news comes as 47 percent of NHS Trusts in England have been hit by ransomware in the past year, according to data from FOI requests which were filed by security company NCC Group.

60 Trusts responded with 31 of these withheld information with many citing patient confidentiality.

As many as 28 confirmed they had indeed been a victim of ransomware. Only one Trust said they had not been hit in the last year, but that they had been infected in the past.

Hospitals are not the only public body who are suffering from ransomware - Some 63 percent of UK universities who responded to FOIs filed by security company SentinelOne admitted to being the target of a ransomware attack.

56 percent had suffered a ransomware attack in the past year - one university admitted that it had suffered 21 separate attacks throughout the year.   

The FOI requests were filed in July 2016 to establish if ransomware was a significant problem in academic institutions.  

Of the 71 universities contacted by SentinelOne, thirteen refused to answer because their response could damage their commercial interests.

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