Feeds

London hospital recovers from Conficker outbreak

Whipps Cross worm-whipped

The essential guide to IT transformation

An east London hospital has confirmed its computer systems were infected by the Conficker worm earlier this month.

Whipps Cross University Hospital NHS Trust stressed that the outbreak affected only administrative systems, causing minor inconvenience, and did not affect patient care. Systems have since been restored to normal.

Around one in 20 computers were affected by the outbreak, the Leytonstone-located NHS hospital explained in a statement.

Whipps Cross University Hospital NHS Trust can confirm that on August 5 the conficker worm virus entered our IT system on site.

As a result about five per cent of the Trust's PCs (30 machines) were affected and were out of action for a number of days.

The virus, which was quickly isolated, did not affect the delivery of patient care and all systems are now operating normally.

The incident is a reminder that the Conficker mega-worm, whose 1 April "activation date" was much hyped by the mainstream press, remains active. Although the botnet the worm established has not been used to launch either denial of service attacks or spam runs it remains a huge threat, with hundreds of thousands of machines infected by the worm.

Local paper The Epping Forest Guardian first reported the infection last Friday. More details emerged over the weekend, including the revelation that the outbreak was down to Conficker.

Virus infections at NHS hospitals are rare but hardly unprecedented. Last November PCs at the three hospitals that form the Barts and the London NHS Trust were forced offline following infection by the MyTob worm. The malware outbreak forced the hospitals to briefly reroute ambulances and disrupted hospital administration while the infection was being contained. A subsequent report criticised the Trust's IT security.

Other incidents include the infection of PCs at a Sheffield hospital with the Conficker worm in January 2009, soon after the first appearance of the worm. More than 800 computers at the Sheffield Teaching Hospitals Trust were infected by Conficker. ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Ice cream headache as black hat hacks sack Dairy Queen
I scream, you scream, we all scream 'DATA BREACH'!
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
KER-CHING! CryptoWall ransomware scam rakes in $1 MEEELLION
Anatomy of the net's most destructive ransomware threat
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
New Snowden leak: How NSA shared 850-billion-plus metadata records
'Federated search' spaffed info all over Five Eyes chums
Three quarters of South Korea popped in online gaming raids
Records used to plunder game items, sold off to low lifes
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?