Lakeridge Health experiences tech issues connected to global ‘ransomware’ cyberattack

File photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward.
File photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward/file

Durham Region’s Lakeridge Health’s network experienced technical issues Friday believed to be related to the global ransomware cyberattack that began targeting U.K. hospitals the same day but has since spread to over 14 countries.

A spokesperson from Lakeridge Health told Global News Saturday the network experienced “some unexpected computer downtime” Friday but that the antivirus system was able to disable the virus, allowing everything to function properly once again.

“We did see some effects from yesterday’s global ransomware attack, but not like we’ve been hearing about worldwide,” said the emailed statement. “We have standard computer downtime procedures and we followed these procedures.

“No public health information was compromised and we did not lose any data. Most importantly, patient care was not impacted.”

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READ MORE: What is the WannaCry ransomware cyber threat?

The Bigger Picture

The global attack was called “the biggest ransomware outbreak in history” by Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer at the Helsinki-based cybersecurity company F-Secure.

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The WannaCry ransomware was holding millions of files hostage unless companies or governments pay up. It is a form of “ransomware” that locks up the files on your computer and encrypts them in a way that you cannot access them anymore. The program gets into your computer, either by clicking or downloading the wrong thing, and then it holds onto something you need to ransom.

READ MORE: ‘Ransomware’ cyberattack affecting U.K. hospitals spreads worldwide

Security experts said the attack grew out of vulnerabilities purportedly identified by the National Security Agency (NSA).

The vulnerability (specifically a SMBv2 remote code execution in Microsoft Windows) was exposed by The ShadowBrokers, a mysterios group that has repeatedly published alleged NSA software code.

Over 45,000 attacks in 70 countries were recorded by Russian security firm Kaspersky — with the most attacks occurring in Russia, including the country’s Interior Ministry.

In North America, FedEx confirmed to Forbes that the U.C. company was also a victim of the attack.

READ MORE: Nations respond to biggest extortion cyberattack ever recorded, new attacks feared

With files from Rebecca Joseph

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