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Trust rules out malicious software attack on IT systems


16 January 2017

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Barts Health NHS Foundation Trust has ruled out a ransomware attack, after the trust had to take some of its systems offline to protect sensitive information.

On Friday the foundation trust took a number of its drives offline, after they were thought to be infected with a virus, in which phishing messages hold the computer system to ransom, demanding money.

The trust IT department alerted staff to the ransomware attack on Friday, but today said the virus was a Trojan malware.

Barts Health NHS Foundation Trust has ruled out a ransomware attack, after the trust had to take some of its systems offline to protect sensitive information.

On Friday the foundation trust took a number of its drives offline, after they were thought to be infected with a virus, in which phishing messages hold the computer system to ransom, demanding money.

The trust IT department alerted staff to the ransomware attack on Friday, but today said the virus was a Trojan malware.

However, the trust’s chief information officer Sarah Jensen said today that the problem was a corrupt file that can be identified and removed.

To contain the virus, the trust shut down all document sharing between departments on Friday, as well as non-urgent pathology services at the Royal London, St Bartholomew’s and Newham hospitals.

This meant that clinicians were unable to see test results but could see past results.

A statement on the St Barts Health website said: “The virus has been quarantined, and all major clinical systems are now up and running.  No patient data was affected, there was no unauthorised access to medical records, and our anti-virus protection has now been updated to prevent any recurrence.

It added: “The computerised pathology results service is now back online and processing requests as normal – it may take a day or so to deal with the backlog that built up during the short period when we processed requests manually.”

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