Almost 1600 NHS operations and appointments cancelled due to attack

20/06/2024 | The Guardian

In a further update to the ransomware attack on pathology lab services provider Synnovis, which has disrupted several London hospitals, The Guardian revealed that 1,527 operations and outpatient appointments were cancelled between 3 and 9 June. The figures include 832 surgical procedures and 736 appointments for patients due to see a consultant. 

Commenting on the severity of the situation, Dr Chris Streather, NHS London’s medical director, said: “There is no doubt that the ransomware cyber-attack on Synnovis is having a significant impact on services in south-east London, with hundreds of appointments and procedures being postponed. While staff are working round the clock to mitigate the impact and Synnovis is working to recover its IT system, we expect disruption to be felt for some time.”

Meanwhile, in an interview with The Register, Qlin, the ransomware group behind the healthcare crisis at London hospitals, expressed no regrets about their deliberate attack. The group stated that the targeting of Synnovis was intentional and confirmed that they were aware a healthcare crisis in the capital city would ensue as a result of their actions. They claimed that their attacks are politically motivated, targeting companies affiliated with the political elites of specific countries. While not naming any countries directly, they vaguely referenced politicians withholding "high-quality" medicines from other countries. Experts have questioned the political explanation, noting that the gang's targets have appeared more opportunistic than ideological.

On Friday, an article in The Guardian revealed that the ransomware group had published data from the attack online. NHS England is taking the situation very seriously and is working with the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and other partners to analyse the data and confirm its origin and content. 

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NHS St Thomas’  Hospital

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