Minister acknowledges cyber attack at Kerala Regional Cancer Centre targeting encrypted patient data

Veena George further clarified that the attack was not a hacking case, but was targeted at the encrypted patient data.

BySouth First Desk

Published Jul 08, 2024 | 3:09 PM Updated Jul 08, 2024 | 3:09 PM

Veena george

Kerala Health Minister Veena George on Monday, 8 July, addressed the Assembly, regarding a significant cyber attack that took place at the Regional Cancer Centre (RCC) in Thiruvananthapuram, on 28 April.

George confirmed that the cyber attack targeted the radio diagnostics and radiation physics wing of the RCC.

She further clarified that the attack was not a hacking case, but was targeted at the encrypted patient data. George however assured that the patient data had not been compromised.

Minister George stated, “The cyber attack was noted on 28 April in the RCC’s radio diagnostics wing and radiation physics wing. These wings use software from GE company’s PACS and VARIAN’s CITRIX. Immediate steps were taken by RCC to prevent further attacks on its critical systems and other computers.”

Following the attack, the RCC administration alerted the state government, the cyber wing, and the computer emergency response team.

The RCC centre also filed a formal complaint with the superintendent of police, cyber operations, on 29 April.

It was further informed that the FIR was registered on 9 May, and an investigation is currently underway.

Minister George revealed that eight desktop computers and four servers were affected by the cyber attack. Veena Goerge further informed that to retrieve the data and ensure protection, patient intake was restricted for five days.

The health minister also announced that a security audit will be conducted with the help of IT experts, to prevent further such incidents in not only RCC but also other health centres.

Based on their recommendations, further changes will be made to enhance the system’s security.

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(Edited by Sumavarsha Kandula)

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