The first death is related to a ransomware cyber attack
The first death is related to a ransomware cyber attack

The German authorities said: The ransomware attack destroyed the computer system of the University of Düsseldorf.

The death of a woman in need of emergency treatment in hospital after being transported to another city for treatment. This could be the first death directly related to a cyber attack in a hospital.

The Associated Press reported that a cyber attack prevented the hospital from accepting emergency patients and the woman was rushed to a medical facility about 20 miles away.

According to a German media report (RTL), the cyber attack was not directed against the hospital itself, as the ransom note was sent to the Heinrich Heine University of the Düsseldorf Hospital.

After Düsseldorf police informed them that the attack had closed the University of Düsseldorf and not the university, the attackers stopped the ransomware attack and provided a digital key to decrypt the data. Data that puts the patient at risk.

The hospital administration said: Investigators determined that the cause of the problem was a cyber attack on vulnerabilities in other widely used commercial software.

As a result, the system collapsed, hospitals could not access data, emergency patients were moved elsewhere, and the operation was postponed.

The hospital administration added, "There is no clear ransom note, and there is no indication that the data is not recoverable and that the computer system is gradually working again."

Healthcare facilities are one of the biggest targets of cyberattacks, and cybersecurity experts have warned for years that most hospitals are unprepared.

Healthcare facilities rely heavily on devices that are frequently connected to the Internet (such as x-ray machines). Without these tools, healthcare facilities cannot treat patients.

“If the internet system crashes due to an adversary or accident, it could have a profound impact on care. For patients,” said Bo Woods, a cybersecurity attorney and researcher in cybersecurity innovation at the Atlantic Council, last year.

Attacks that target patient data and do not directly affect medical devices can harm patients.

One study found that in the years following the data breach, hospital mortality rates from heart attacks increased. This may be because the hospital has had to shift resources to treat heart attacks or improve procedures to change the way doctors work.

Major cyber attacks like the WannaCry cyber attack in 2017 shut down vital hospital systems and the attack shut down the National Health Service.

Although there were no deaths directly related to the attack, most experts cautioned that it was only a matter of time.

German authorities are still investigating this woman's death. If she is taken to another hospital responsible for her death, the police may consider killing the electronic ransom note.

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