Montpellier University hospital was victim to a computer attack


News is just emerging of a computer attack at Montpellier University hospital in March, where more than 600 computers were infected.

A few weeks ago, the University Hospital of Montpellier fell victim to a major computer attack on the Gui de Chauliac site. According to the management of the hospital, the attack had “no impact on patients’ medical records”.

According to initial investigations, one of the buildings of the University hospital the victim of a computer virus, due to a “phishing” message.  “Phishing” is about sending an email that is almost similar to the messages users receive every day, except that they are infected and can, after opening, contaminate an entire internet network.

The director of information systems of Montpellier University Hospital, Jérôme Euvrard, said, “One of the staff members opened an e-mail that contained the virus and it spread throughout the network.   In total, 649 computers were affected by the virus.  Every building has its own internet network, which allowed us to isolate the virus and prevent it from spreading to other buildings”.

Since the attack, the contaminated machines have been “disinfected” by the technical teams with antivirus software and put back into service.

According to the survey, the virus in question is similar to those found in the banking sector, a mutation of the Wannacry virus that attacked 300,000 computers worldwide in May 2017.

A criminal investigation was opened by the public prosecutor of Montpellier to find the source of the cyber attack.

What impact on medical records?

The message is very clear from the hospital: “There has been no impact on medical records and medical secrecy because internet access was locked”.

In 2017, one third of UK hospitals suffered the same type of attack, as well as many medical practices, resulting in the postponement or cancellation of several thousand medical procedures.

Source: France 3