Cyberattack behind Greenland’s healthcare ‘system crash’

Island nation’s health system workers fell back on using phones after a cyberattack knocked out IT systems.

The chief governing body of Greenland, Naalakkersuisut, announced that a cyberattack caused IT systems to crash throughout the world’s largest island.

To mitigate the issues caused by the attack, operators were forced to restart IT systems and servers that run the island’s healthcare system. As a result, medical staff cannot access patients’ medical records.

“Health services are severely limited and increased waiting times are to be expected while some might miss their appointments,” reads the government’s statement.

With virtually no access to online services, patients are encouraged to ring up the medical staff with any urgent requests.

Authorities are still investigating the cyberattack and thus far have determined that threat actors have neither stolen nor damaged citizens’ data.

Authorities did not reveal what sort of attack befell Greenland. However, healthcare organizations often fall victim to ransomware attacks, as threat actors are aware that governments cannot tolerate prolonged periods of downtime and thus are inclined to pay the ransom.

Attackers also target patients' personal information that can later be sold or used as leverage against the victim organization. The Hive ransomware outfit recently has stolen 850,000 personally identifiable information records from Partnership HealthPlan (PHP) of California.

Healthcare institutions are often ill-equipped to deal with cyberattacks since protecting against criminals from the internet was never the intended purpose of hospitals.

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