CHU Saint-Pierre hospital hit by cyber-attack on Friday

CHU Saint-Pierre hospital hit by cyber-attack on Friday
Credit: Belga / Paul-Henri Verlooy

The CHU Saint-Pierre hospital in Brussels was the victim of a cyber-attack on Friday evening, Le Soir has reported. While the hospital is said to be functioning normally, ambulances are being diverted to other facilities.

The hospital's CEO Pierre Leroy explained to the French-speaking newspaper that their computer servers had begun slowing down at around 01:00. "Our specialists were able to detect abnormal activity on the computer network," according to Leroy, which led them to conclude at around 04:00 that the hospital was the victim of a cyber-attack.

As other Belgian hospitals have already been targeted by such attacks, CHU Saint-Pierre already had an emergency plan in place. They thus took the necessary actions by disconnecting servers and switching to "paper" communication instead.

These procedures do not affect any of the hospital's equipment, which meant that their activities such as operations could go ahead. However, ambulances and medical vehicles were instead brought to neighbouring establishments out of precaution.

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While the hospital, in collaboration with the Federal Police and Public Prosecutor's Office, has not yet been able to determine the source of the attack, as well as their motive and demands, the CEO stated that patient data was unlikely to have been stolen.

Pierre Leroy concluded by stating that the hospital's IT team is still working on securing the servers and getting the computer network up and running as soon as possible.

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