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The Other Wound to Heal: Hospitals Increasingly Targeted by Cyberattacks

As the healthcare system is already overflowed by the pandemic, another pernicious nuisance comes along: a cyberattack on the east end of Montreal’s heathcare network, according to Radio-Canada and La Presse.

The attack was launched in India, authorities believe.

Already, data pertaining to 9 patients and 2,340 residents leaked, newspapers report.

The result? The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) must take over the case, causing headaches to several organizations.

Worse still, the cyberattack started at the end of May only to be detected on June 3, according to the Assistant Executive Director of the facility.

Patients whose data leaked have received the support of Equifax to prevent identity theft, but medical data can serve other purposes.

In 2019, a data breach linked to LifeLabs’ cyberattack gave hackers access to 15 million Ontarian and British-Columbian users’ information.

It took two extra days for Microsoft and the ministry of Health’s cyber defence team to put a stop to the attack.

The Quebec government started the development of a cyber defence centre in 2019. The creation of a similar centre in Canada dates back to 2018.

The importance of protecting those networks makes so much sense knowing how much health-related data represent a lucrative currency considering their confidentiality level.

Cyberattacks on Quebec hospitals are not new. Last October, Montreal’s Jewish General Hospital as well as CIUSSS West-Central Montreal were the target of data theft.

Another event that illustrated the vulnerability of the healthcare system, even though there already was proof enough.

And Canada is not the only country: France recorded a massive increase in cyberattacks on hospitals and laboratories, mainly since the beginning of the pandemic.

One of the concerns mentioned is the increased number of connected devices that provide more points of entry into the computer systems of facilities.

SOURCES (in French only):