Ransomware, Critical Infrastructure Security

Ransomware disrupts South Africa’s national health lab

Malware attack virus alert. Person use smartphone with virtual warning sign with ransomware word. warning notification, Cyber threats.

South Africa's response to an ongoing Mpox outbreak is being stymied by a ransomware attack against its National Health Laboratory Service, which resulted in the deletion of backup servers and other parts of its system, hindering lab result dissemination since Saturday, reports The Record, a news site by cybersecurity firm Recorded Future.

While no patient information was noted to be impacted by the compromise, such an attack has prevented database access and communications, according to NHLS CEO Koleka Mlisana. "As such, all our systems remain inaccessible both internally and externally including to and from healthcare facilities until the integrity of the environment is secured and repaired. All users will be aware that the NHLS networked laboratory system is heavily reliant on these information technology systems that have been disrupted," Mlisana added. Such an incident comes amid a series of ransomware attacks against South African government entities during the past 12 months, with the Snatch ransomware operation exposing data stolen from the country's defense department last September.

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