Barts NHS Suffers Another IT Outage Due To Cyber Attack That’s Spreading Across London Hospitals

Barts Health NHS Trust has suffered another IT outage, with concerns the five hospitals it runs may have been hit with a cyber attack that is creeping across London and other NHS hospitals.

A source at Barts Health told Silicon that the Trust has been forced to switch off its Wi-FI and cancel patient appointments.

NHS cyber attack

Barts appears to be a ripe target for cyber attacks, having been infiltrated by Trojan malware back in  January which forced the shutdown of its IT systems for four days.  An IT outage in April also resulted in the cancellation of 136 operations and hundreds of chemotherapy appointments, which took Barts a couple of weeks to solve.

As such, another IT outage looks to be on the cards with the cyber attack appearing to be ransomware based in a bid to extort money out of the hospital trust.

Such attacks are not uncommon in the NHS, with a third of NHS Trusts having been targeted by ransomware.

This goes someway to highlight the need for a serious IT overhaul across the entire NHS, rather than leaving it to individual budget-strapped trusts to carry out their own digital transformation strategies.

Silicon has contacted Barts Health for comment and more information on the IT outage and possible cyber attack but has so far received no response. It is likely that the trust is aiming to tackle the problem then release a statement when its IT systems are more stable.

Cyber attacks on public sector organisations also appear to be alarmingly common, with 70 percent of all UK universities having fallen victim to phishing attacks.

And even large private sector organisations are not safe, with fast food giant McDonald’s having fallen victim to a phishing attack made against its website through the exploitation of a backdoor.

Quiz: Cyber security in 2017

Roland Moore-Colyer

As News Editor of Silicon UK, Roland keeps a keen eye on the daily tech news coverage for the site, while also focusing on stories around cyber security, public sector IT, innovation, AI, and gadgets.

View Comments

  • it should be a wake up call to police and government that what they have considered low level crime has very serious consequences.

    Time to harden up on cyber crime, make the use of untraceable currency like bitcoins illegal. There can be no justifiable reason why the recipient of funds should not be known - not just to prevent ransomware type crimes but for tax purposes.

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