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A ‘Russian group of cyber criminals’ behind the attack on London’s hospitals – London Business News | Londonlovesbusiness.com

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On Tuesday major hospitals in London declared “critical incidents” after they were hit with a “major IT incident.”

The PA news agency have said that a Russian group of cyber criminals are behind the attack and they understand the group is called Qilin.

The former chief executive of the National Cyber Security Centre Ciaran Martin said that the cyber attack was “a very, very serious incident.”

St Thomas’ (including the Royal Brompton and the Evelina London Children’s Hospital), NHS Staff at King’s College Hospital and primary care services in London all received a memo which said a critical incident has been declared.

Martin was asked on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme if he knows who attacked London’s hospitals, he said, “Yes. We believe it is a Russian group of cyber criminals who call themselves Qilin.

“These criminal groups – there are quite a few of them – they operate freely from within Russia, they give themselves high-profile names, they’ve got websites on the so-called dark web, and this particular group has about a two-year history of attacking various organisations across the world.

“They’ve done automotive companies, they’ve attacked the Big Issue here in the UK, they’ve attacked Australian courts. They’re simply looking for money.”

He added that it is “unlikely” Qilin would have known they would have created a serious situation.

Martin added, “There are two types of ransomware attack. One is when they steal a load of data and they try and extort you into paying so that isn’t released, but this case is different. It’s the more serious type of ransomware where the system just doesn’t work.

“So, if you’re working in healthcare in this trust, you’re just not getting those results so it’s actually seriously disruptive.

“This type of ransomware has affected healthcare all over the world.

“It’s particularly damaging in the United States, and where this type of cyber attack is different in terms of its impact from others, is that it does affect people’s healthcare. So it’s really one of the more serious that we’ve seen in this country.”

The Health Secretary Victoria Atkins said it is her “priority” over “patient safety” on Wednesday.

She wrote on X, “Throughout yesterday I had meetings with NHS England and the National Cyber Security Centre to oversee the response to the cyber attack on pathology services in south-east London.

“My absolute priority is patient safety and the safe resumption of services in the coming days.”

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