After AIIMS, Safdarjung Opens Up On Cyber Attack: Know How It Can Affect You As Patient

After AIIMS, Safdarjung Opens Up On Cyber Attack: Know How It Can Affect You As Patient

It might be crippling to see your medical reports published on Dark Web or someone else in a different place, getting surgery under your name

Written by Kashish Sharma |Updated : December 5, 2022 10:23 AM IST

While the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) is still picking up pieces of its breached cyber system, Safdarjung hospital also informed of a similar attack that affected the Delhi hospital in November. As per reports, the hospital authorities have informed that the damage was not as crippling as one can see in AIIMS. Reportedly, most medical paperwork in the hospital is still being done manually.

A few days back, a cyber attack disrupted the internal systems of AIIMS and the hospital was pushed to turn its operations from digital to manual. A cyber attack is a criminal activity where cyber criminals use one or more computer systems against single or multiple systems or networks. The activity usually involves stealing data, disabling systems, or using the breached system to create some other trouble.

Hospital under attack

AIIMS has confirmed the attack that affected it on November 21 and has also informed that data restoration and server cleaning are in process. Due to large chunks of information and IT experts scanning each system, the process is reportedly to take some more time. The hospital also informed that much of its e-data has been restored. Meanwhile, reportedly all the hospital operations out-patient services, in-patient paperwork, and laboratories will continue to run in manual mode.

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The cause of the attack is still unclear. However, many theories have been floating around the involvement of Chinese hackers in the papers. There have been reports suggesting that the five main servers of the hospital were attacked by hackers.

A global problem

Recently a leading media outlet reported a similar attack in a Paris hospital. When a hospital in Versailles was under a cyber attack, the authorities were forced to cancel operations and transfer many patients. As per reports, it led to the total reorganization of the hospital system.

Why it might be dangerous for patients?

When a cyber-attack affects a hospital system, it means that our medical records might be in some danger. Attacks could be done for endless reasons, for instance, stealing the medical records of patients and selling them on the Dark web or sometimes threatening a system to get some ransom in return for the stolen data. Your medical records are a rich pool of personal information that is not changeable for a long period. It has your family history, demographic data, insurance information and other things. If this information gets into the wrong hands, it can be misused to an ugly level. This information can be used by criminals to take over your identity and achieve a medical motive like getting surgery or medicine under your insurance coverage. In sensitive medical cases like HIV, it can be used to threaten the affected patient. Our health records are personal. They affect every area of our life, from taking treatment in privacy to getting jobs. It can be a devastating experience to find them published on the web.