The cyberattack on UK's largest NHS trust was reportedly caused by a Trojan malware. Barts Health Trust confirmed that the malware attack did not result in patient data accessed by hackers, adding that patient appointments were not cancelled due to the attack, according to reports.
The attack forced systems to be briefly taken offline. Barts Health Trust, which runs The Royal London, St Bartholomew's, Whipps Cross, Mile End and Newham hospitals, reportedly said that most systems are back up, however, file-sharing still remains offline as a precaution.
"The virus has been quarantined, and all major clinical systems are now up and running. No patient data was affected, there was no unauthorised access to medical records, and our antivirus protection has now been updated to prevent any recurrence," a Barts spokesperson told ZDNet.
According to the trust, the malware was not one they had encountered before and had "the potential to do significant damage" to its computer network. However, the trust's "measures to contain the virus were successful".
In November, three NHS hospitals run by the North Lincolnshire and Google trust were forced to cancel patient appointments after a "major" cyberattack. 2016 saw hackers increasingly target hospitals in the UK and US with targeted ransomware attacks. Security researchers have previously warned that hospitals are prime targets for hackers, given the valuable data NHS holds.
It is still unclear as to how hackers gained access to Barts Health Trust's internal systems. The location and identity of the cybercriminals also remains a mystery.