One of the major COVID-19 testing laboratories in the Czech Republic has recently faced an obscure cyberattack in March 2020. The representative of the Brno University Hospital, Pavel Zara, claimed that the situation is still in progress and there is no detailed information available on the incident. A cyberattack hit the hospital in the course of a COVID-19 outbreak that is accelerating in this small central European country.
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According to Cimpanu, the hospital’s managers did not yet disclose the nature of the security leak. Despite that, the cyberattack was considered a severe incident that led to the postponement of the urgent surgical operations and redirection of seriously ill patients to another medical facility, such as St. Anne’s University Hospital. Furthermore, the incident affected two other hospital departments, including the Children’s Hospital and the Maternity Hospital. The overall IT networking was closed as well.
The hospital public announcement system informed all the medical personnel about the cyberattack and ordered them to turn off their computers. Within three hours, all the surgeries in the hospital were canceled. After the attack, “teams from the Czech National Cyber Security Center (NCSC), Czech police (NCOZ) and IT personnel of the hospital,” aimed at repairing the hospital’s IT system by cooperating work (Cimpanu, para. 8).
Taking into account that this hospital is a testing center for a worldwide, threatening pandemic, it is rightfully seen as a severe incident that should be urgently addressed and eliminated. However, it remains unclear whether the facility’s testing ability was affected by the cyberattack. It is important to note that the disease started spreading across the Czech Republic, and, therefore, the hospital’s testing performance is highly required. With that said, the security teams should be extremely alert and aware of such risks during times of crisis, since the hackers take the benefit of the exhausted medical personnel.
Cimpanu, Catalin. “Czech Hospital Hit by Cyberattack While in the Midst of a COVID-19 Outbreak.” ZDNet. Web.