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Delhi AIIMS Cyber Attack: Data Is Safely Retrieved- Government Sources

Delhi AIIMS Cyber Attack: Data Is Safely Retrieved- Government Sources

The attack on the computer system of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in Delhi was carried out by China, according to official sources today, who also assured that the data – details of lakhs of patients at the flagship hospital — had been recovered.

The FIR lodged in the matter stated that the AIIMS Delhi server attack was carried out by the Chinese hackers. The hackers successfully entered five physical servers out of a total of 100 servers (40 real and 60 virtual). The damage could have been lot worse, but it is now contained. “Data in the five servers has now been successfully retrieved,” claimed a Ministry of Health and Family Welfare source (MoHFW).

The system went down on November 23, and the Intelligence Fusion and Strategic Operations (IFSO) unit of the Delhi Police registered a case of extortion and cyber terrorism two days later. However, police have disputed rumours that hackers demanded Rs 200 crore in bitcoin as a ransom to restore the system.

Due to the suspected cyber security violation, two of the analysts tasked with overseeing the servers’ security have also been suspended. Almost all services at the institute are online, from the appointment system to billing and the sharing of reports with patients and between departments. Additional personnel were sent as it transitioned to manual mode, falling completely offline during the probe despite the fact that not all servers were affected.

Theft of patient data is at the core of the attack. Every year, AIIMS treats around 38 lakh patients, including prominent political figures, bureaucrats, and judges. As all 5,000-odd PCs and servers were scanned, top intelligence and anti-terror agencies, as well as IT emergency teams, worked the case.

The issue was raised in Parliament two days ago by senior Congress lawmaker Shashi Tharoor, who urged for a thorough investigation as well as measures to prevent a repeat. “The origin, aim, and scope of the attack remain unknown,” the Lok Sabha MP from Thiruvananthapuram added.

Mr Tharoor highlighted that the risk of a “hostile cross-border attack” is a major concern. It also reflects our country’s lax data protection standards, particularly by government organisations,” he added, according to PTI. Citing the proposed personal data protection law, he chastised the government for “doing away with” a specific category of sensitive personal data, including health data, that required severe safeguards under the 2019 draft.

The e-Hospital data has been recovered, according to a statement from AIIMS administrators. The network is being cleaned up in preparation for services to resume. The length of time required for the procedure is caused by the volume of data and the enormous number of servers and computers used by hospitals. They said, “Cyber security precautions are being taken.”

In accordance with the statement, “all hospital services, including outpatient, in-patient, laboratories, and so on, continue to operate on a manual basis.” A special cell of the Delhi Police initiated an investigation into the attack on the computer system at AIIMS Delhi earlier this month.

In order to identify the origin of the malware assault, a team from the Central Forensic Lab (CFSL) has been assigned with analysing the AIIMS Delhi’s impacted server, according to government officials. (ANI)

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