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Public healthcare service in UK hit by ransomware

A software provider to Britain’s vast state-run healthcare sector has confirmed that a recently disclosed breach of its systems was a ransomware attack.

Advanced said it suffered the cyberattack on August 4 and issued a statement a week later confirming the motives behind it.

“Advanced experienced a disruption to our systems that we have since determined to be the result of a cybersecurity incident caused by ransomware,” it said. “We immediately took action to mitigate any further risk and isolated all of our health and care environments, where the incident was detected.”

The money-motivated cyberattack could potentially impact millions of patients that use the taxpayer-funded National Health Service (NHS) in the UK, a major client of Advanced, as well as other healthcare bodies that also use its products and services.

Software programs taken offline because of the cyberattack are Adastra, Caresys, Odyssey, Carenotes, Crosscare, Staffplan, and eFinancials. These are used to facilitate healthcare service provision, for instance by managing homes for the elderly, patient scheduling, and record-keeping.

Advanced has reached out to cybersecurity firm Mandiant and tech giant Microsoft to investigate the breach and bring the affected systems back online with “enhanced protections.”

It added: “We remain in contact with the NHS, [UK state cybersecurity body] NCSC, and other governmental entities, and are providing them with regular status updates.”

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