Synlab halts services over ransomware attack

The Italian branch of Synlab, a medical diagnostics provider, was forced to shut down its IT systems across the country to combat a major cyberattack.

Synlab Italia was forced to suspend systems after the company, which operates nearly 400 labs throughout Italy, noticed “a hacker attack on its IT systems.”

“Due to the current situation, all activities at sampling points, medical centers, and laboratories in Italy remain suspended until further notice, including the download and collection of reports,” the company said.

On April 22nd, three days after Synlab Italia issued the initial statement about the attack, its services were still not fully restored.

According to the company, it noticed unauthorized access in the early hours of April 18th and excluded its whole infrastructure from the affected network, forcing the company to basically shut down.

While Synlab Italia did not detail what type of information may have been exposed, it hinted that customer details may have been stolen.

“As the Data Processor according to Article 28 GDPR, we are to inform you that as of today, we cannot exclude that such an attack may concern personal data referred to the services provided to you and under your ownership of the processing,” the company’s statement in Italian reads.

Even though the nature of the attacks was not exclusively mentioned, its trajectory closely resembles a ransomware attack. Financially motivated attackers breach company networks, encrypt and exfiltrate data, demanding payment in return. At the time of publishing, no ransomware cartel took credit for the attack.

Synlab Italia is part of Synlab, an international medical diagnostics provider based in Munich, Germany. The company’s revenues exceed €3 billion, and it employs over 28,000 staff.

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