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Hackers target Life Healthcare hospitals

Published Jun 11, 2020

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CAPE TOWN -

Life Healthcare Hospitals across South Africa have been hit by a cyberattack, disrupting the group’s IT systems and causing administrative delays.

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Life Healthcare, which has 66 hospitals in South Africa, said on Tuesday that it could not provide details to the extent of the attack as an investigation is still ongoing.

"We are deeply disappointed and saddened that criminals would attack our facilities during such a time when we are all working tirelessly and collectively to fight the Covid-19 pandemic," read a statement by acting Life Healthcare CEO, Pieter van der Westhuizen.

Healthcare systems across the globe have been targeted during the Covid-19 pandemic in a form of ransomware that locks IT systems in exchange for payment.

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“It sounds like something viral and not like someone who broke into the office and stole a laptop with sensitive information,” said Dominic White, CEO of cyber-security firm SensePost.

“The most common viral attack these days is ransomware. Hospitals are front and centre and ransomware is pretty opportunistic because of the pressure on hospitals," he said.

Meanwhile, International Police Organisation (Interpol), in April tweeted that cybercriminals were using ransomware to target critical care healthcare institutions.

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