• 3,000 firms
  • Independent
  • Trusted
Save up to 70% on staff

News » London hospitals crippled in ransomware attack

London hospitals crippled in ransomware attack

London hospitals ransomware attack
Photo from AFP

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM — Major hospitals in London declared a critical incident following a cyberattack that severely disrupted operations and emergency services. 

The attack, which occurred last June 3, affected hospitals partnered with Synnovis, a provider of pathology services. 

Among the impacted institutions are King’s College Hospital, Guy’s and St Thomas’, the Royal Brompton, and the Evelina London Children’s Hospital.

Canceled surgeries, diverted patients as hospitals revert to paper records

The cyberattack had a “major impact” on the delivery of services, particularly blood transfusions and test results. Some departments have been unable to connect to the main server, leading to the cancellation or redirection of procedures to other National Health Service (NHS) providers. 

Emergency care remains available, but general practitioner (GP) services across Bexley, Greenwich, Lewisham, Bromley, Southwark, and Lambeth have also been affected.

Russian hacking group Qilin suspected in attack

While Synnovis has deployed a “taskforce of IT experts” to assess the impact of the attack, cybersecurity analysts believe the notorious Russian cybercrime gang Qilin is likely behind the crippling attack. 

A spokesperson for Synnovis also expressed deep regret for the disruption caused, stating, “We are incredibly sorry for the inconvenience and upset this is causing to patients, service users, and anyone else affected.”

Meanwhile, the NHS has apologized for the inconvenience brought on by the cyberattack. 

A spokesperson for NHS England London region stated that they are working with the National Cyber Security Centre to understand the full extent of the damage. 

Calls for increased cybersecurity after “severe” NHS breach

Cyber security experts have weighed in on the incident. Steve Sands from the Chartered Institute for IT emphasized the ever-present danger of ransomware to critical institutions. 

“We need to ensure that all public sector organizations have contingency plans in place to manage cyber attacks, that staff are regularly trained on risk, and there is sufficient investment in software resilience,” he told BBC.

Professor Awais Rashid, Head of the Bristol Cyber Security Group at the University of Bristol, highlighted the complexity of digital infrastructures and the cascading impacts of such attacks. 

“Hence, cyber-attacks can have significant and substantial cascading impacts as we are seeing in this unfolding situation where critical health services are being impacted.”

John Clark from the University of Sheffield warned about the potential manipulation of blood test results during the attack.

“Patient safety is of paramount concern and the accuracy of results is essential, so it is important to stress that unless it is known what has happened to the system, the accuracy of any stored data cannot be ensured,” he explained.

Government providing support to Synnovis

A government spokesperson assured that patient safety is a priority and that support is being provided to Synnovis. The incident underscores the need for robust cyber defenses and contingency plans across public sector organizations. 

The attack has prompted calls for increased investment in cybersecurity to protect critical health services.

The cyber-attack on Synnovis has highlighted vulnerabilities in the healthcare sector’s digital infrastructure. As hospitals work to restore normal operations, the incident serves as a stark reminder of the importance of cybersecurity in safeguarding essential services.

Start your
journey today

  • Independent
  • Free
  • Transparent

About OA

Outsource Accelerator is the trusted source of independent information, advisory and expert implementation of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)

The #1 outsourcing authority

Outsource Accelerator offers the world’s leading aggregator marketplace for outsourcing. It specifically provides the conduit between Philippines outsourcing suppliers and the businesses – clients – across the globe.

The Outsource Accelerator website has over 5,000 articles, 350+ podcast episodes, and a comprehensive directory with 900+ BPO companies… all designed to make it easier for clients to learn about – and engage with – outsourcing.

About Derek Gallimore

Derek Gallimore has been in business for 20 years, outsourcing for over eight years, and has been living in Manila (the heart of global outsourcing) since 2014. Derek is the founder and CEO of Outsource Accelerator, and is regarded as a leading expert on all things outsourcing.

“Excellent service for outsourcing advice and expertise for my business.”

Learn more
Banner Image
Get 3 Free Quotes Verified Outsourcing Suppliers
3,000 firms.Just 2 minutes to complete.
Learn more

Connect with over 3,000 outsourcing services providers.

Banner Image

Transform your business with skilled offshore talent.

  • 3,000 firms
  • Simple
  • Transparent
Banner Image