UnitingCare Queensland hit by cyber attack

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UnitingCare Queensland hit by cyber attack

Ransomware infection reportedly impacts hospitals and aged care facilities.

UnitingCare Queensland, a provider of hospital and aged care services, said some of its digital and technology systems were rendered “inaccessible” by a cyber attack on Sunday.

9News in Queensland reported the attack as a ransomware infection that all hospitals and aged care homes run by the organisation with IT systems.

Hospitals run by UnitingCare Queensland include The Wesley Hospital and St Andrews War Memorial Hospital, both in Brisbane, St Stephen's Hospital in Hervey Bay, and Buderim Private Hospital on the Sunshine Coast.

The facilities had resorted to manual, paper-based workarounds, according to the 9News report.

UnitingCare Queensland confirmed it was affected “by a cyber incident” that had taken “some” of its systems offline.

“As soon as we became aware of the incident, we engaged the support of lead external technical and forensic advisors,” the organisation said in a statement.

“We also notified the Australian Cyber Security Centre of the incident and are continuing to work with them to investigate the incident.”

UnitingCare Queensland said that “most services” could be run using “manual back-up processes”, but those that could not “are being redirected or rescheduled accordingly.”

“Due to the recency of the incident, it is not possible to provide a resolution timeframe at this stage, however our digital and technology team are working to resolve this issue as swiftly as possible,” the organisation said.

“We are committed to keeping our people, patients, clients and residents informed and safe as we work to resolve this incident and will provide further relevant updates as new information comes to hand.”

The organisation said it would provide an update once it had gained “greater clarity on the incident and the likely resolution timeline.”

Fellow aged care service providers Anglicare Sydney and Regis Healthcare were both ransomwared last year. 

The government said last year that ransomware operators were actively targeting the health and aged care sectors.

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