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Hackers legally off the hook in patient's death but maybe not in future

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January 23, 2021

by Brian Ward (bward@hcpro.com)

On September 11, 2020, an elderly woman in Germany was rushed to the University Hospital Düsseldorf (UKD) with a life-threatening aortic aneurysm. However, when the ambulance arrived at UKD, they discovered the facility had been crippled by a ransomware attack.

Nearly 24 hours earlier, unknown hackers mistakenly infected the hospital’s information system, thinking they were attacking the affiliated university instead. The ransomware attack badly damaged UKD’s ability to coordinate doctors, beds, and treatment. Hundreds of operations and procedures were cancelled, and the hospital’s patient care capacity was slashed in half. To treat the patients they already had, UKD had to turn away new admissions.

On September 11, 2020, an elderly woman in Germany was rushed to the University Hospital Düsseldorf (UKD) with a life-threatening aortic aneurysm. However, when the ambulance arrived at UKD, they discovered the facility had been crippled by a ransomware attack.



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