Vivalia targeted by a large computer attack, patient safety guaranteed (Update)

The safety of patients in hospitals managed by the intermunicipal company is however guaranteed, we are assured. The cyberattack was detected shortly before 3:30 a.m. Very quickly, it was decided to take emergency measures to prevent the spread of the computer virus, explained the officials of the intermunicipal company. All internet communications with the outside were cut, as well as computers and servers attacked, all running under the Windows operating system. This concerns a total of 200 computer servers and 1,500 computer workstations. An emergency cell was convened immediately and the intermunicipal company quickly received the support of the governor of the province of Luxembourg and the Federal Judicial Police.

“We are currently in the second phase. We are trying to identify the origin of the attack to plug the security breach before restarting, or even restoring, our IT systems”, explained Yves-Henri Serckx, IT director of Vivalia, Saturday afternoon during a press conference.

The cyberattack has consequences on the functioning of hospitals, but these seem to be limited for the time being. “The vital services of hospitals are preserved”, reassure the managers of Vivalia.

According to Dr. Pascal Pierre, General Director of Medical Affairs, “all the equipment in the intensive care units is working, as are the dialysis machines. The equipment in the operating theaters is also functional, as are the emergency rooms and the coronary angiography machines” . On the other hand, the general telephone center of the Vivalia hospitals is no longer accessible, but the direct numbers allowing you to reach this or that service are.

The two hospital departments “most impacted” by the cyberattack are radiology and the laboratory. But X-rays are still possible, as are lab tests, although the latter currently take longer.

“The question will arise at the beginning of next week as to whether or not to postpone or cancel consultations and operative activities. A new crisis meeting is scheduled for this Sunday morning”, for his part indicated Yves Bernard, general manager making function of Vivalia.

The origin of the cyberattack and the motivations of the hackers could not yet be clarified at this stage. For the moment, Vivalia has not received a ransom demand. Also at this stage, there is no indication that personal data of patients or residents of nursing homes has been stolen. “A priori, this attack was intended to paralyze our activity,” said Yves-Henri Serckx.

Vivalia includes six hospital sites, a polyclinic, four nursing homes and nursing and care homes, a psychiatric care home and three crèches located in the province of Luxembourg.

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