NHS Lanarkshire suffered from a malware attack on Friday, forcing it to cancel appointments and some operations.
It has been confirmed that ransomware was responsible for the cyber-attack on the Scottish health organisation.
Scotland’s third largest NHS Trust is asking patients not to attend hospitals unless it is essential, after operations and appointments were cancelled by NHS Lanarkshire following the cyber-attack.
NHS Lanarkshire made an announcement to patients stating that IT systems were down, but staff within ehealth worked overnight to secure and reinstate the IT systems.
Following this, Calum Campbell issued a statement on the page and said: “We have detected some incidences of malware. We took immediate action to prevent this spreading while we carry out further investigations.
“We are now putting in place a solution from our IT security provider. While the issue is being resolved our staff have been working hard to minimise the impact on patients and we apologise to anyone who has been affected.”
“While the issue is being resolved our staff have been working hard to minimise the impact on patients and we apologise to anyone who has been affected.”
The attack is the second one NHS Lanarkshire has faced after it was one of the worst trusts affected by WannaCry, the biggest cyber-attack in NHS history, earlier in May this year. A new variant of Bitpaymer infected NHS Lanarkshire’s systems on Friday and the board staff worked on repairing the IT systems over the weekend.
Pete Banham, cyber resilience expert at Mimecast, said: “The ransomware attack was fairly contained on this occasion, but cancelled operations and appointments clearly indicate of the potential for similar malware to cause havoc to critical services on a much wider scale.
“It’s good news that NHS Lanarkshire took immediate action to prevent the spread of the malware. But having also been hit by the WannaCrypt/WannaCry ransomware earlier this year, the district should view this attack as a warning to further prioritise investment in cyber resilience.
“To help prepare and deal with an attack, it’s crucial public sector bodies across the board implement clear processes supported by the right technology and people.”
Unlike the WannaCry attack in May, this cyber-attack seems more isolated rather than a global attack. NHS Lanarkshire are still working to ensure the systems are protected and patients receive the care and treatment they need.
Campbell concluded his statements and said: “The majority of services have been restored but it may take some time to get services running as normal. We would ask patients to bear with us as they may experience longer waits than usual.”