Monday, December 11, 2023

AIIMS: Hospital data recovered after cyber attack

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After a week of dealing with a significant cyber intrusion, AIIMS New Delhi made a breakthrough on Tuesday night. The hospital claimed to have retrieved data from e-hospital software that had become obsolete following the hacking of the institute’s primary and backup servers in a cyber security incident last week.
Until then, the hospital’s services, including outpatient, inpatient, and laboratory services, will be performed manually.

“The e-Hospital data on the servers has been restored.” Before services can be resumed, the network is being sanitised. Due to the volume of data and the vast number of servers and computers used for medical services, the procedure is taking some time. “Measures for cyber security are being implemented,” the institution stated in a statement.

According to sources, the institute’s data restoration claim came after a meeting in the evening between officials from the Union Home Ministry and the National Investigative Agency (NIA) regarding the AIIMS incident.

Meanwhile, internal AIIMS sources described the claim as a “face-saving” ploy.

“In ransomware assaults, only two alternatives are presented—either comply to the hacker’s demand or launch an alternative to the service impacted by ransomware,” a senior IT official familiar with the matter stated. According to reports, the hacker has sought Rs 200 crore for the data of 4 crore patients held hostage.

However, the Delhi Police, who is also investigating the cyber attack event, refuted media reports regarding the hacker’s ransom demand. When contacted, AIIMS provided no more information on the data restoration promise.

Meanwhile, the institute has requested its teachers, staff, and other members who use the AIIMS intranet to install a special antivirus programme called SEQRITE ENDPOINT in order to combat the cyber security threat, according to sources.

All servers and computers in the institute are being formatted and sanitized, they added.
The November 23 cyber attack forced the hospital to shut down all digital services in patient care delivery areas.

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