After the extensive failure of the IT system at the University Hospital in Dusseldorf, which affected many patients for days, the Central and Contact Point for Cybercrime of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia has initiated an investigation. "The indications that point to a criminally relevant behavior are growing stronger", said a spokesman for the central office, which is based at the public prosecutor’s office in Koln, to the Deutsche Presse-Agentur on Friday. In the exchange with the affected parties, it will be examined, among other things, whether and if so, what measures are necessary.
Severe restrictions due to IT failure
The failure of the IT system at the University Hospital in Dusseldorf resulted in severe restrictions for the second day in a row on Friday. "We are signed off from the emergency supply", said a spokesman Friday morning the dpa. This means that ambulances will still not be able to drive to the university hospital, but will instead drive to other hospitals. The emergency room itself, however, was manned. "Whoever comes will be treated", he explained. The telephone system was brought back online on Thursday, and both external and internal calls are possible again. "We are available again", emphasized the spokesman.
However, the e-mail traffic was not yet functioning. Scheduled and outpatient treatments did not take place until further notice and will be postponed, according to a warning on the clinic’s website from Thursday evening, which was still displayed on Friday afternoon. Patients were therefore asked not to visit the University Hospital in Dusseldorf – even if an appointment had been made, it said.
At 3 a.m. on Thursday, the computer and information system at the Dusseldorf University Hospital was largely down. More than 50,000 patients are treated annually at the Dusseldorf University Hospital, according to the facility.000 inpatients are treated annually at the University Hospital in Dusseldorf. In addition, about 300.000 patients are treated on an outpatient basis each year. According to a ranking, it ranks seventh among the largest hospitals in North Rhine-Westphalia in terms of the number of beds.
Protection against cyber attacks
According to the association, hospitals in North Rhine-Westphalia have specifically reviewed their protection against cyber attacks in recent years. Since then, there have been only a few security incidents, a spokesman for the NRW hospital association explained on Friday in response to an inquiry from dpa. The hospitals in North Rhine-Westphalia are very sensitized and work closely with authorities at the state level through the hospital association. For example, workshops were held with the state criminal investigation department and a close exchange took place with the Ministry of Health.
In North Rhine-Westphalia, Lukas Hospital in neighboring Neuss and the Julich Research Center as well as several companies have been targets of hacker attacks in the past. Rough hospitalers are paid to the so-called critical infrastructure, which must be particularly protected. The NRW hospital association explained that there are industry-specific safety standards for them.