N.L. Health-Care Cyberattack Is Worst In Canadian History

One cybersecurity expert says the cyberattack on the Newfoundland and Labrador health-care system may be the worst in Canadian history, and has implications for national security. CBC News reports: David Shipley, the CEO of a cybersecurity firm in Fredericton, said he’s seen similar breaches before, but usually on a smaller scale. “We’ve never seen a health-network takedown this large, ever,” Shipley said in an interview with CBC News. “The severity of this is what really sets it apart.” Discovered on Saturday morning, the cyberattack has delayed thousands of appointments and procedures this week, including almost all non-emergency appointments in the Eastern Health region. After refusing to confirm the cause of the disruption for days, Health Minister John Haggie said Wednesday the system has been victim of a cyberattack. Sources have told CBC News the security breach is a ransomware attack, a type of crime in which hackers gain control of a system and hand back the reins only when a ransom has been paid. […]

Shipley said he normally argues against giving in to ransom demands but the provincial government might have to pay up in this instance since lives are at stake. The government has not confirmed there has been a ransom demand. On Thursday morning, staff at the Health Sciences Centre in St. John’s were told the system used to manage patient health and financial information at the hospital is back online. The system — called Meditech — only has information from before last weekend, and will need to be updated. It isn’t yet clear what the restoration of the system will mean for services at the hospital, or if the system is back online in other parts of the province.