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Russians may have hacked NHS trust with 2.5 million patients | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker


Intelligence officials are investigating a potential Russian cyber attack on an NHS trust with 2.5 million patients.

A notorious ransomware gang has claimed to have stolen huge quantities of sensitive data from Barts Health NHS Trust and given a deadline of Monday before it starts publishing the information.

BlackCat, also known as ALPHV, claimed on Friday to have gained access to employees’ personal data, such as CVs, as well as financial information including credit card details.

It also said it had “citizens’ confidential documents”.

It is unclear whether this refers to patient information, or if the group has successfully hacked the trust.

However, it raises the prospect of those among Barts’ approximately 2.5 million patient population having their private data released on the dark web.

On Friday the trust, which includes six hospitals and ten clinics in East London, said it was “urgently investigating” the claims.

The Telegraph understands that The National Cyber Security Centre, part of GCHQ, is also investigating.

Ransomware attacks use software to either steal or deny the owner access to digital information.

Attackers will sometimes encrypt the files and demand payment in return for a decryption key.

In 2017 the NHS was badly hit by the massive global “Wannacry” ransomware attack, which brought the health service to a standstill for several days, forcing the frantic relocation of critical patients from stricken hospitals.

BlackCat said it had copied 7 terabytes of data, equivalent to the information that could be stores on more than 10,000 CDs.

However, the gang did not mention an encryption key.

Experts suggested this could indicate that the gang has not encrypted the information and is hoping for a rapid payout by the Trust, which is an increasingly common tactic.

It comes in the same week that details of more than a million NHS patients were reportedly compromised in a cyberattack on the University of Manchester.

The information included records of major trauma patients across the country, including those who had been treated after terror attacks.

It had been gathered by the university for research purposes.

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