Blood Shortages Hit London Hospitals After Ransomware Attack | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware

England’s most senior physicians appealed to the public for help in the aftermath of a cyberattack that has threatened the ability of London’s National Healthcare Service hospitals to provide life-saving treatment.

Since a ransomware cyberattack against UK pathology lab services provider Synnovis knocked the company offline on June 3, hospitals across London have been struggling with delays in matching patient blood types, among other critical pathology functions.

Pathology labs provide tests on blood and other bodily fluids to diagnose, treat, and prevent a wide variety of illnesses. Synnovis is operated in partnership with Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust and King’s College Hospitals NHS Trust, and SYNLAB, Europe’s largest provider of medical testing and diagnostics, according to the NHS.

A week later with services still not restored, Dr. Gail Miflin, chief medical officer, NHS Blood and Transplant, decided to put out a call to the public for blood donations.

“When hospitals do not know a patient’s blood type or cannot match their blood, it is safe to use O type blood,” Miflin said a statement. “To support London hospitals to carry out more surgeries and to provide the best care we can for all patients, we need more O Negative and O Positive donors than usual. Please book an urgent appointment to give blood at one of our 25 town and city donor centres which currently have good appointment availability.”

Synnovis is working with law enforcement as well as the National Cyber Security Centre, the company said.

“We are incredibly sorry for the inconvenience and upset this is causing to patients, service users, and anyone else affected,” Synnovis said in a statement. “We are doing our best to minimise the impact and will stay in touch with local NHS services to keep people up to date with developments.”

Synnovis did not respond to Dark Reading’s request for comment.


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