The Brno University Hospital in the city of Brno, Czech Republic, was hit by a cyberattack amidst the outbreak of COVID-19 which is getting bigger in the small central European country.
The nature of the security breach is not revealed by the hospital authorities but the incident seems to be severe enough to postpone urgent surgical involvements, and avert new acute patients to nearby St. Anne’s University Hospital.
The hospital has shut down its entire IT network and two other of the hospital’s branches, the Children’s Hospital and the Maternity Hospital, were also affected.
According to Peter Gramatik, a security researcher with Sucuri and also a patient in the hospital at the time, the breach occurred around 5 a.m. in the morning. He stated that the hospital public announcement system started to repeat the message at every 30 minutes that all personnel should immediately shut down all computers due to ‘cybernetic security’.
At around 8 a.m. there was another public announcement that all the surgeries were cancelled and the researcher was sent home.
Teams from the Czech National Cyber Security Center (NCSC), Czech police (NCOZ) and hospital’s IT staff are now working together on-site to recover the hospital’s IT network.
Brno University Hospital is one of the Czech Republic’s biggest COVID-19 testing laboratories and so the incident is considered to be a severe one.
It is not sure whether the coronavirus testing capability in the hospital was affected or not, in the cyberattack.
In Czech Republic, there have been 141 infections confirmed and the viral disease appears to be spreading and the hospital’s full testing capabilities are needed right now.
Unfortunately, despite the global COVID-19 outbreak, hackers have not reduced their operations. They make use of this opportunity to implement their attacks.
During this time of emergency, the security teams must be extra vigilant and understand that the risk of a cyberattack is much higher than usual.