Cyber attacks 'crippled Scots NHS systems' with patient records stored on pieces of paper
27.11.2022 - 09:25
Doctors were forced to keep patient records on pieces of paper and emails after a huge cyber attack crippled critical Scots NHS systems.
Health Secretary Humza Yousaf has been accused of suppressing details of the hack, despite fears confidential files for millions of people could have been stolen and treatment waiting times hit.
The ransomware attack, which crippled the Adastra system, blocked access to patient records for months, with some parts still not working today.
The security breach on August 4 has been described as one of the worst cyber attacks in the history of the NHS, affecting up to 5.5million patients across Scotland as well as services in England and Wales.
The National Cyber Security Centre and GCHQ are involved in the investigation, with speculation that Russian hackers, or more likely a gang of cyber criminals, are behind the incident.
MSPs have questioned why the Scottish Government and, in particular, Yousaf have failed to make any public statement on the attack or tell Holyrood of its impacts, including if any patient data was stolen.
NHS National Services Scotland (NSS) said there was “no indication” patient data had been compromised but, when asked to clarify, it was unable to give a definitive response.
Advanced, the firm which operates the Adastra software, was also unable to say if patient data was affected when asked last month. But the company said it was “monitoring the dark web as a belt-and-braces measure”, in case hackers had stolen patient information and tried to sell it online.
Adastra is patient management software which is supposed to allow access to patient care notes across all parts of the NHS, including out-of-hours GP services, A&E and NHS24.
The attack blocked access to