Cyber Attack strikes UnitingCare Hospitals in Auchenflower

UnitingCare Queensland Hospitals in Auchenflower and Spring Hill have been hit by a cyber attack
Photo credit: CC BY-SA/Kgbo/Wikimedia Commons

The 25th of April 2021 was just another Sunday at Wesley Hospital and St Andrew’s War Memorial Hospital, until all of a sudden it wasn’t. As the day went on, it became clear that both hospitals were experiencing a cyber-attack, one that led to serious worries about compromised information systems and other hospital systems and services coming offline. 

The attack forced hospitals under UnitingCare Queensland (UCQ) to resort to manual processes after their Digital and Technology systems were rendered inaccessible. 

Despite the attacks, back-up processes and systems were prepared in the event that such a situation occurred. Services are continuing as normal thanks to the contingencies and safety measures the hospitals have prepared in advance, however certain processes that cannot be performed manually have been either redirected or rescheduled due to these cyber attacks. 

UCQ, the organisation that encompasses the Wesley Hospital and St Andrew’s Memorial Hospital, has not commented on plausible reasons behind the attack however it is commonly speculated that this was the work of ransomware — an act that revolves around criminals restricting data access until a ransom is paid. 

According to UCQ’s most recent statement regarding the cyber attack, it is unclear when the issue will be resolved given its recency. However, concrete efforts are being made by their Digital and Technology team to get to the bottom of the issue and have systems fully operational as quickly as possible.

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The statement also mentions that those who wish to learn more, or those who wish to receive updates on the matter should periodically visit the media section of the UCQ website as they steadily work to resolve the issue and learn more about those responsible.

Wesley Hospital can be found at 451 Coronation Dr, Auchenflower. To learn more about UCQ, visit their website here. For the latest updates and announcements concerning the hospital, the cyber attacks, and the progress of their attempts at getting systems back online, follow their Facebook page