If you don’t believe cyberattacks can kill, you might want to look at Germany. A woman in a German hospital has died from a ransomware attack. Because of the attack, the hospital could not accept ER patients.
Ransomware on Hospital Tech
The Associated Press reported that the Duesseldorf University Hospital sent the woman to another hospital 20 miles away. However, a German news report said that the attackers didn’t mean to hit the hospital. The attackers had meant to strike a university nearby.
— The Verge (@verge) September 17, 2020
When the police told the attackers that they had shut a hospital down, the attackers stopped.
The woman’s death may have become the first death linked to a cyberattack.
Healthcare Tech as Attack Targets
Experts have warned that healthcare tech is vulnerable to ransomware attacks. Moreover, hospitals are still not prepared. Hospitals rely so much on devices, like X-rays, that connect to the internet. Without these tools, they are unable to treat their patients.
Attackers could also target patients’ data, which could affect their recovery. One study said that data breaches could cause heart attack deaths in hospitals to spike. In 2017, the WannaCry attack shut down the UK’s National Health Service. While no one died from the attack, experts have said it was only a matter of time.
The German police have started looking into the woman’s death. If the woman’s transfer caused her death, the police would consider it a homicide.