UnitingCare Queensland hit by ransomware cyberattack

UnitingCare Ransomware CyberAttack

Australian aged care provider, UnitingCare Queensland, has been hit with a ransomware cyberattack over Anzac weekend. The attack has crippled its IT systems, including staff email and patient management systems, forcing them to revert to manual, paper-based operations.

According to 9News Australia, who first published the story, the IT systems became crippled by ransomware software installed during the attack. The ransomware perpetrator requires a payment, usually in a cryptocurrency, to remove the ransomware.

“As a result of this incident, some of the organisation’s digital and technology systems are currently inaccessible. As soon as we became aware of the incident, we engaged the support of lead external technical and forensic advisors. We also notified the Australian Cyber Security Centre of the incident and are continuing to work with them to investigate the incident.”, UnitingCare said in a statement released on their website.

The Cyber Security Herald understands that the Australian Cyber Security Centre’s (ACSC) technical and forensic investigators are working closely with UnitingCare to resolve the outage.

Along with UnitingCare hospitals, other aged care centers across Queensland have also been affected, such as Wesley and St Andrews Memorial Hospitals in Brisbane.

It is not clear as to whether any patient’s personal information has been accessed during the cyberattack.

The cyberattack on UnitingCare has shown that no organization is off-limits to ransomware gangs. Organizations like UnitingCare are more attractive targets due to the private and sensitive patient information that they hold.

UnitingCare has not indicated as to how long they expect their IT systems to be offline, stating that they will “work to resolve this incident and will provide further relevant updates as new information comes to hand.”

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