French President Emmanuel Macron has pledged 1 million euros for a program to strengthen the cybersecurity of important networks after two hospitals in the country were hit by a ransomware attack in the past two weeks.
According to Le Monde, he said this at a video conference with representatives of the affected hospitals.
On 8 February, a hospital in the municipality of Dax in the south-west of the country, and on 15 February, a hospital in Villefranche — sur-Saone in the east, suffered an attack by an extortionist virus, which left their electronic systems almost completely paralyzed, including some medical equipment. As a result, some operations had to be postponed and patients were redirected to other institutions.
The National Agency for Information Systems Security, Anssi, says that it may take several weeks to restore the full functioning of the systems.
The Department for Combating Cybercrime of the Paris Prosecutor’s Office has opened proceedings on the facts of interference in the system and extortion committed by an organized group.
“What happened to you demonstrates our vulnerability and the need to accelerate investment in security,” Emmanuel Macron said, adding that these are particularly dangerous cases in the context of the coronavirus pandemic.
As reported, in 2020, the number of cyberattacks on hospitals in France increased fourfold.
In Germany, in September 2020, a patient at a hospital in Dusseldorf died because her operation was postponed as a result of a cyberattack on the hospital.