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MidCentral DHB Attacked with Ransomware

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23/02/2016

As has been experienced by a number of companies and organisations throughout New Zealand, a new variance of the Crypto Ransomware virus called `Tesla' was discovered on the MidCentral District Health Board (MDHB) network.
 
The virus was identified early-Saturday (20 February) morning by anti-virus software and information technology staff, and the affected server was shut down within 5 minutes. As a result of the infection, some files on the main DHB server were affected. The majority of these files were Microsoft Office documents, along with some common image formats.
 
MDHB Information Systems Manager Brian Woolley said the IT department worked through the weekend and contained the virus and stopped further impact.
 
He said: "While an inconvenience to staff, patient safety has not been compromised and services to the public have continued as normal. The lack of disruption caused by the virus is thanks to both the hard work of our staff who prepare for these sort of events, along with our recent investment in state-of-the-art IT infrastructure.
 
“This virus works by encrypting files, and at no point was any data transmitted outside MDHB’s network. We are continuing work to identify the source.  Early indications are that it was transmitted through an infected website. These crypto-ransomware viruses change very quickly, meaning their signature can be hard to detect.
 
“MidCentral DHB has a number of industry-standard security systems that monitor the network, and it is the first time our main server has been affected by a virus. We have taken, and continue to take an extremely cautious approach, checking all devices on our network.
 
“As is best practice after events such as this, we will evaluate our security controls and look to see where any improvements can be made."
 
Contact: Communications Unit (06) 350-8945

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