France: a hospital center targeted by a cyberattack, 10 million dollars claimed

Disrupted activity in emergencies and surgery, redirected patients: the Sud Francilien Hospital Center (CHSF) in Corbeil-Essonnes, south-east of Paris, has been the victim of a computer attack since the night of Saturday to Sunday around 1 a.m., depending on the establishment.

A ransom demand of $ 10 million, formulated in English, was demanded by the hacker (s), said a police source.

An investigation for intrusion into the computer system and attempted extortion in an organized gang has been opened to the cybercrime section of the Paris prosecutor’s office, she said.

The investigations were entrusted to the gendarmes of the Center for the Fight against Digital Crime (C3N), added the prosecution.

This cyberattack once again targets a French hospital, a sector that has been hacked for several months via ransomware.

Last April, a malicious attack targeting the information system of the Territory Hospital Group (GHT) Cœur Grand Est had affected nine establishments and in March, a hospital in Ajaccio had also been the victim of a cyberattack by ransomware.

In 2021, hospitals in Dax (Landes), Saint-Gaudens (Haute-Garonne) and Oloron-Sainte-Marie (Pyrénées-Atlantique) were also victims of cyberattacks, disrupting or leading to the closure of their IT services.

The Essonne hospital center, opened in 2012 and with a capacity of a thousand beds providing health coverage for a population of nearly 600,000 inhabitants of the outer suburbs, has triggered a « white plan », a plan of emergency to ensure continuity of care, from Sunday.

This attack makes « for the time being inaccessible all the hospital’s business software, the storage systems (in particular medical imaging) and the information system relating to patient admissions“, indicates the establishment in a press release.

The National Authority for the Security and Defense of Information Systems (Anssi) has been « quickly seized by the crisis unit« , he added.

According to a source familiar with the investigation, « a ransomware family has been identified« .

Patients whose care requires access to the technical platform are redirected to public hospitals in Ile-de-France. Those presenting spontaneously to the emergency room « are assessed and then possibly sent to the medical care center of the Sud Francilien hospital center« , according to the press release.

For patients hospitalized at CHSF, « the medico-technical departments (in particular medical biology) are able to work in short-term in degraded mode« .

The establishment « makes every effort to maintain outpatient care« , he promises, but « on the other hand, this exceptional situation should have an impact on the activity of the operating room« .

« This attack does not impact the operation and security of the hospital building“, reassures the hospital center which specifies that « All networks remain in operation (telephone except fax, automated distribution flows, etc.).« 

Contacted, management declined to comment further.

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