After the cyberattack on Vodafone earlier this week, the Germano de Sousa group also suffered a cyberattack, which took place in the early hours of yesterday, Thursday 10th February.
Germano de Sousa laboratories are currently not receiving patients, nor are they testing for SARS-CoV-2. The Germano de Sousa clinical analysis laboratories are closed to the public and will only resume “full operation” on Monday, following the targeted computer attack on Thursday.
According to the Germano de Sousa group, the cyberattack, which took place in the early hours of Thursday, was “deliberate and criminal with the aim of causing damage and disturbance to its activity and its patients”, but “there is no evidence” that the patient data has been compromised. In a statement the group confirmed that its cybersecurity team is in close coordination with all competent authorities, namely the Judiciary Police, the National Data Protection Commission and the National Center of Cybersecurity.
It also states in the same statement that it “continuously monitors the security of its infrastructure and information systems”, having immediately detected the computer attack and taken technical containment measures to ensure the protection of all systems.
“The inability to do the tests is a failure. Our service will be missed by the nation, but we can’t do more than that”, said pathologist and founder of the group, Germano de Sousa.
Germano de Sousa said that by Sunday, the laboratory’s emergency services will already be operating, but full operation will only be on Monday.
“Everything will be up and running on Sunday, but as on Sunday we only do emergencies, on Monday we are open and operating normally”, said.
Despite the computer “pirates” not having accessed the patient base, Germano de Sousa said that to “avoid any possibility” that this could happen, the group’s cybersecurity team and experts are “cleaning everything up” and “almost renewing” its connections and the programs that allow connections abroad, “and this will take longer than expected”.
According to the official, the links with the laboratory partner hospitals are still cut at the moment.
“We have our laboratories in hospitals and there is absolutely no danger there, but the connections with the central laboratory are cut to avoid the slightest chance of contamination”, he stressed.
He also added that the screenings for the SARS-CoV-2 virus that they had already been carried out “will all be completed and the results be communicated” to the platform of the Ministry of Health.Asked if the Germano de Sousa Group had already received a ransom request, he said no. “Theoretically this would be a ‘ransomware’ attack [where a ransom is demanded]”, but so far no message has been received to that effect.