Barwon Health's IT services have been affected by the ransomware attack.

Cyber security breach affects Barwon Health

October 1, 2019 BY

A RANSOMWARE attack yesterday has affected several hospitals and health services across Victoria, including Barwon Health.

University Hospital Geelong’s emergency department is continuing to treat patients as they arrive, but Barwon Health anticipates the cyber security incident will have some impact on patient services throughout the day.

In order to quarantine the issue, some patient records, booking and management systems have been shut down. Patient contact and scheduling may subsequently be effected.

There is no suggestion that patients’ personal information hack been accessed. Yet the full impact of the security breach is unclear as it has affected a number of services across the state.

The Victorian Cyber Incident Response Service was contacted when the incident was uncovered on Monday. The security breach blocked access to several systems, including financial management, through the infiltration of ransomware. The health services have disconnected the affected systems to ensure the problem does not spread further.

Victoria Police and the Australian Cyber Security Centre are managing the incident. Ransomware infects computers through malicious code and – as the name suggests – effectively holds a user’s data for ransom, typically to be paid in cryptocurrency.

The WannaCry ransomware attack in 2017 affected as many as 400,000 computers around the world.