Cyber hackers [illustrative].
(photo credit: REUTERS)
A cyber attack from abroad – separate from ransomware originating in Ukraine that is currently infecting computers worldwide – hit two Israeli hospitals on Thursday. Hospital computers were immediately examined and treated without suffering any damage to medical data, according to the National Cyber Authority in the Prime Minister’s Office.
It was originally thought that eight medical centers been targeted, but the Prime Minister’s Office later announced only two in Israel – it did not name them – were subjected to attack and suffered no damage.
The authority said the threat was quickly thwarted by working in conjunction with hospital data security experts. Experts are continuing to monitor the functioning of hospital computer systems.
News of the foiled attacks came the day after the GoldenEye or Petya virus spread from Ukraine to wreak havoc around the globe, crippling thousands of computers, disrupting ports from Mumbai to Los Angeles and halting production at a chocolate factory in Australia.
“In general, any place that works with computers can be susceptible to cyber attacks,” Shira Lev-Ami, director of information systems and technology in the Health Ministry, said. “The healthcare system is in good shape and better than others. The ministry has given out directives, and all the medical institutions – hospitals and health fund clinics – meet the standards that were set. There are many circles of protection. Obviously, there is never 100% protection. There is always something to improve, but that is a result of limited funds. The important thing is that no hospital was affected.”