City Reports

Ransomware virus attack at SMS Hospital in Jaipur: OPD partially operational now

More than 50 computers were infected with the virus.

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June 9, 2017, 11:54 am

SMS Hospital

Sawai Man Singh (SMS) Hospital

Jaipur: A day after a ransomware attack crippled patient registration and other IT-based services at SMS Hospital in Jaipur, an IT team had to format more than 50 computers to get rid of the virus. Patient registration and the work of lab test reports resumed at some OPD counters by Friday morning. Healthcare services were however still affected as long queues of patients were witnessed in the morning.

Services at this biggest hospital in the state came to an standstill when ransomware virus made more than 50 computers defunct.

The virus affected a wide range of services including registration, blood test and lab reports. Thousands of patients and theirs wards suffered. A long queue at OPD counters were witnessed and many patient had to leave without getting treatment.

The SMS Hospital outdoor reports a registration of more than 10,000 patients daily, but only 6,000 registrations were reported on Thursday. Similarly, only 15,000 lab reports were issued against the daily average of 25,000.

The virus started affecting the IT system in the hospital since 9 am on Thursday. When computers shut down, an investigation was launched by the hospital’s IT team that soon discovered the ransomware attack.

Doctors had to admit patients through handwritten registration receipts.

When queues began getting longer, patients were sent to the third floor of the building on Dhanvantari Ward for lab tests reports. The virus didn’t reach there because the lab had been set up recently and all the systems were updated with the latest software. Sources said that computers at other counters had not been updated for years, making them vulnerable to the attack.

“The computers were formatted by the wee hours on Friday. The situation is now under control. Most OPD counters are now operational,” said SMS Hospital superintendent Dr DS Meena.

Ransomware is a sophisticated piece of malware that blocks the victim’s access to files, and the only way to regain access to the files is to pay a ransom.

The IT team at SMS Hospital, said that the files in most computers were not corrupted. The access was however blocked.

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First published: June 9, 2017