One of Delhi's premier hospitals, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, (AIIMS) might have been subject to a ransomware attack since yesterday, as stated by the hospital. All sections of the sanitarium have been performing manually, since 7, in the morning, as the servers started breaking down.
Later in the evening, the hospital informed, in a statement, said that this may be a ransomware attack which will be dealt with by the applicable authorities and the National Informatics Centre(NIC) are working to restore the system. “Measures are being taken to restore the digital services and support is being sought from Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT- In) and National Informatics Centre(NIC),” the statement read.
The hospital further said in a statement that AIIMS and NIC will take all the necessary precautions to prevent such future attacks. If confirmed by the authorities, this will possibly be the first instance of a major Indian hospital which has been affected by ransomware.
Problems faced by AIIMS at the moment
Due to the server problem, a huge chaos has occurred in AIIMS. The patients and even their families are posting photos and videos of it. Medhavi Gupta tweeted that she was trying to book an appointment at AIIMS via their website, since morning, but the page was constantly flashing an error.
The city’s largest referral medical hospital, which caters to 1.5 million outpatients and 80,000 inpatients every time, has been working manually since morning, leaving long cues at every branch. AIIMS recently developed an internal dashboard, which helps in displaying the emergency beds status and the number of patients waiting for admissions in real time.
Along with that, the status of CT scans and MRIs is also displayed on the dashboard, with the hospital eventually trying to resolve these system errors with all aspects of functioning. The worst mega hit was the registration section, where hundreds lined up to get themselves registered. Besides, the smart lab, report generation, billing , sample booking and monitoring status of the appointment systems were likewise affected.
Ransomware is a type of malware from cryptovirology that is designed to deny a user or organisation access to files on their computer. While some simple ransomware may lock the system without damaging any files, more advanced malware uses a technique called cryptoviral extortion. In utmost cases, the cyberattackers call a ransom to allow access to the files.
Cyber- attacks like this have been spreading its roots recently, even in several large hospitals and sanitarium networks in the United Kingdoms, the US and even parts of Europe.
History of AIIMS
As per the to the AIIMS website, the first AIIMS was established in 1956 under the All India Institute of Medical Sciences Act in the year 1956.
It was originally proposed to be established in Calcutta by the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru as an institution of national significance but it was established in New Delhi following the refusal of the Chief Minister of West Bengal back then, Bidhan Chandra Roy.
The act established AIIMS New Delhi, which was then known simply as All India Institute of Medical Sciences, and gave it the Institutes of National Importance (INI) status. Its purpose was to serve as a nexus for the development of primeness in all facets of the healthcare network in India. The computer installation was embarked in a slim way in 1978.