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Russian Cybercrime Group Strikes Major London NHS Trusts, Disrupting Patient Care


A cyberattack attributed to the Russian cyber-crime group Qilin has disrupted operations at two major London NHS trusts, causing significant disruptions to patient care.

The attack, which occurred on Monday, targeted IT systems responsible for reporting patient tests at hospitals served by commercial supplier Synnovis. These hospitals include King’s College and Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS trusts, as well as GP services across six London boroughs.

As a result of the attack, hospitals have been forced to resort to paper-based record-keeping, causing delays and cancellations in non-urgent operations and procedures. GPs have been instructed to cancel all non-emergency blood tests, while routine HIV testing and cervical cancer screening services have been compromised.

NHS sources have warned that it could take months to fully recover from the attack, with patient safety concerns remaining paramount. There are also concerns about the accuracy of stored data, as it may have been manipulated during the cyberattack.

Former National Cyber Security Centre chief Ciaran Martin has identified the attackers as the Russian cybercrime group Qilin. The incident has been classified as a ransomware attack, with criminals demanding payment to restore access to the affected systems.

Earlier in May, European intelligence agencies have alerted their respective governments that Russia is scheming to carry out violent acts of sabotage across the continent. Reports suggested that there is increasing evidence of Russia more actively preparing for hidden explosions, arson, and damage to infrastructure on European territory, directly and through cover persons.

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