NHS health board confirms ransomware attack

NHS Scotland’s Dumfries and Galloway health board has confirmed that the INC Ransom gang’s threats to publish terabytes of patient data were directed at it.

NHS Dumfries and Galloway, operating in the south of Scotland, confirmed that clinical data published on INC Ransom’s dark web blog was obtained via a recent attack on the board’s IT systems.

“This follows a recent focused cyberattack on the Board’s IT systems, when hackers were able to access a significant amount of data including patient and staff-identifiable information,” reads the board’s statement.

Earlier this week, INC Ransom announced that it took three terabytes of data from NHS Scotland, somewhat overselling the true extent of the attack. NHS Dumfries and Galloway is one of fourteen boards under NHS Scotland’s umbrella.

“We absolutely deplore the release of confidential patient data as part of this criminal act. This information has been released by hackers to evidence that this is in their possession,” NHS Dumfries and Galloway Chief Executive Jeff Ace said.

The board’s head claims that all patients whose data was exposed will be contacted, adding that the Police Scotland, UK’s National Cyber Security Centre, and the Scottish Government were notified about the incident.

NHS Dumfries and Galloway operates a dozen hospitals serving nearly 150,000 people in Scotland. The board serves one of fourteen regions of NHS Scotland, a publicly funded healthcare system in the country, one of the four systems that make up the UK’s National Health Service (NHS).

INC Ransom was first noted in July 2023. According to Ransomlooker, Cybernews’ ransomware monitoring tool, INC Ransom has victimized at least 65 organizations over the last 12 months.

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