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Private Hospitals in South Africa Fall Victim to Cyberattack

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Jenna Delport
Jenna Delport
I’m a tech writer, world traveller, avocado-eater and dog lover, not always in that order.

Life Healthcare in South Africa announced that its IT systems have been compromised by cybercriminals.

In an official statement, the private healthcare group says that it regrets to announce that its Southern African operation has been the victim of a targeted criminal attack on its IT systems – However, the group “acted immediately on becoming aware of the incident and took [its] systems offline, in order to actively contain the attack”.

Life Healthcare says that the security incident has affected admissions systems, business processing systems and email servers – but at this stage, the extent of the attack on the systems as well as sensitive data is not yet known.

“We immediately took these offline as a precautionary measure to contain the attack, conduct our investigations, and where necessary commence remediation.”

According to the company, there was no impact on patient care and it’s hospitals remain fully prepared to provide healthcare services as normal.

“First, and foremost, we wish to assure all the communities within which we operate, that this criminal attack on our systems will not affect the quality care and clinical excellence we aim to provide. Patient care remains our key priority,” says acting CEO of Life Healthcare, Pieter van der Westhuizen.

“We are deeply disappointed and saddened that criminals would attack our facilities during such a time when we are all working tirelessly and collectively to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Our investigations continue and we are working around-the-clock to restore the affected systems.”

Edited by Jenna Delport
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