Hackers who have targeted hospitals in New Zealand’s Waikato district released what appears to be private patient information to the media, as healthcare systems struggled to come back online for more than a week after the attack.
A group claiming responsibility for the Waikato District Health Board’s cyberattack that took place last week has released numerous official files and documents containing the names, phone numbers and addresses of patients and staff, Radio New Zealand and d ‘other local media.
The media decided not to release the details and returned the email to the police.
The health systems breakdown in Waikato continues, disrupting the treatment of patients and the staff payroll process. Hospitals have now moved to manual processes to deal with a backlog of patients, while the public has been urged to seek alternative routes of treatment for non-critical conditions.
Authorities have not commented on whether the cyber attackers have issued requests.
“We are aware that malicious actors can see what is being said in the media, and that this can influence their behavior. Based on that, we can no longer comment on this, ”said Kevin Snee, CEO of Waikato DHB, in a statement.
The government refused to pay a ransom to the hackers.
Waikato DHB serves a population of over 425,000 people.
The breach comes after the Irish healthcare operator was hit by a ransomware attack that was carried out by international cybercriminals.
But it was not clear whether the attack in New Zealand was from the same group.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation said this week that cybercriminals who hit Ireland’s healthcare system, used malware dubbed “Conti,” had targeted at least 16 US medical and first-response networks over the past year.
The New Zealand stock market was hit by a cyber attack last year, and central bank data systems were also violated in an attack on a file-sharing service provided by California-based Accellion.
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