Trojan malware cyber attack on NHS computer data at east London and City hospitals
PUBLISHED: 16:28 16 January 2017 | UPDATED: 16:28 16 January 2017
Hospitals across East London including the huge Royal London have been hit by a cyber attack with patients' confidential records having to be taken offline.
A backlog of medical results is still being processed by Barts NHS Health Trust—which runs the Royal London, Mile End, Newham General and Whipps Cross hospitals and Barkantine medical centre, as well as St Bartholemew’s in The City—after being hit by Trojan malware which brought the system to a halt.
But NHS officials assured the East London Advertiser today that no patients’ confidential data was affected and they have now isolated the virus in the system.
“We discovered a virus in the computers and took immediate steps to contain it,” a Barts Trust spokesman said.
“All major clinical systems are now up and running—no patient data was affected and there was no unauthorised access to medical records.”
Major clinical services including the computerised pathology results had to be taken offline over the weekend while files were processed by hand by staff brought in to deal with the incident, but were now back up and running following the Friday-the-13th attack.
Pathology results are now back online, although the NHS trust admitted “it may take a day or so to deal with the backlog that built up”.
The incident was caused by Trojan malware and there was no demand for money as with “ransonware”, the trust maintains. The virus had the potential to do “significant damage” to network files.
The computer system was set up 10 years ago amid criticism from former Bethnal Green MP George Galloway over its cost. The original system actually crashed before it was up and running and had to be replaced at huge cost to the NHS.