Five Ontario Hospitals Appear To Have Been Pwned In A Cyberattack

This hits a bit too close to home.

In a statement put out on Monday, IT provider TransForm Shared Service Organization said that a system outage after a cyberattack was affecting the ability to provide care at five southern Ontario hospitals and requested that patients not go to those hospitals if possible.

“Unfortunately, this incident is impacting their provision of care in various ways. For those patients who have care scheduled in the next few days, the hospitals will contact you directly, if possible, to reschedule or provide alternate arrangements. We are investigating the cause and scope of incident, including whether any patient information was affected,” the statement said.  

The five hospitals include:  

  1. Bluewater Health of Sarnia
  2. Chatham Kent Health Alliance
  3. Erie Shores HealthCare of Leamington
  4. Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare  
  5. Windsor Regional Hospital  

TransForm Shared Service Organization is a not-for-profit, founded by the five hospitals to collectively manage their hospital IT and supply chain needs.

Emily Phelps, Director, Cyware had this to say:

   “Healthcare remains a prime target for cyberattacks due to its invaluable data and limited security measures. The challenge of safeguarding expansive healthcare institutions that use a mix of new and outdated systems creates vulnerabilities for attackers to exploit. Moreover, with the rise of advanced technologies like AI, attackers can act more swiftly, exacerbating the security challenges faced by healthcare providers.

   “To address these concerns, healthcare organizations need to shift from a responsive security stance to a proactive one. This requires access to detailed and context-rich threat intelligence to discern which threats need immediate attention. Healthcare ISACs can offer such intelligence to member organizations. However, simply having this intelligence isn’t enough. It must be sorted and executed in a strategic manner. By blending security collaboration and orchestration with automated threat intelligence systems, healthcare institutions can ensure that crucial information reaches the right hands promptly.”

This could not have come at a worse time for these hospitals as the hospital system is under tremendous strain due to respiratory infections including COVID. Which is why I keep saying that the health care sector needs to do better in terms of protecting themselves from cyberattacks.

One Response to “Five Ontario Hospitals Appear To Have Been Pwned In A Cyberattack”

  1. […] few days ago I posted a story about five Ontario hospitals getting pwned in a cyberattack. That was bad, but it just got worse […]

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