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Cambridge hospital cleans up after mystery malware infection

Patients unaffected after PCs get the pox

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An unnamed computer virus infection forced a UK hospital to temporarily shut down part of its network earlier this week.

An unspecified number of computers at Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge were hit by the malware. A spokesman explained that the hospital continued to operate normally while IT staff grappled with the infection. He stressed that patients were not affected by the incident, which was resolved in a matter of hours.

Malware infections at hospitals in the UK are by no means unprecedented. Back in November, for example, computers at the three hospitals that are part of Barts and the London NHS Trust were taken offline following infection by the MyTob worm.

Clinical staff had to go back to pen and paper systems in some cases, and ambulances were temporarily diverted for a short time during the first day of the incident. It took around three days to fully restore email at the three London hospitals.

The Addenbrooke's spokesman was familiar with that incident but said that the effects of the malware infection at the Cambridge hospital were nothing like as severe. He promised to ask technicians what strain of malware caused the infection, as that information wasn't immediately to hand. ®

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