AIIMS server issue: Delhi police say no ransom demanded by hackers

AIIMS server issue

NEW DELHI: As the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) server remained out of order for the sixth consecutive day, Delhi police said that no ransom has been demanded by hackers.

Certain sections of the media stated today that hackers have allegedly demanded an estimated Rs 200 crore in cryptocurrency.
Delhi Police told ANI, “In the AIIMS Delhi computer incident, no ransom demand as being quoted by certain sections of the media, has been brought to notice by AIIMS authorities.” While AIIMS issued a statement saying, “The data restoration and server cleaning is in progress and is taking some time due to the volume of data and a large number of servers for the hospital services. Measures are being taken for cyber security.”

“All hospital services, including outpatient, in-patient, laboratories, etc. continue to run in manual mode,” added the statement. Earlier on Saturday, AIIMS authorities said that they have deployed additional staff to run diagnostics, labs and OPD services at the national medical institute as its servers remained suspended due to a suspected ransomware attack.

The institute’s medical superintendent, Dr D K Sharma had said that they have redeployed more staff to handle OPD and Diagnostics services due to increased manual work. “We have deployed additional staff so that more people are available in OPD and diagnostic laboratories,” Sharma had told ANI.

He had further said that since the day server is down more patients have been seen in comparison to digital records. “Patients want that doctors should see them timely, and we are managing records manually the way we used to do earlier. In the last three days, we have attended to almost 12,000 patients on a daily basis – which is even more than earlier since the patients are not required to take an appointment.”

“We opened our registers again and kept serial number wise. We can see the sample reports on the computer, earlier we used to send those reports with the help of e-Hospital to different areas. Now we are taking those reports and dispatching them directly,” the medical superintendent explained.

On Friday, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) also joined the ongoing investigation into the alleged malware attack, with agencies including the India Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-IN), Delhi Police, Intelligence Bureau, Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), already probing the incident.

The internet services at the institute are likely to remain suspected on the recommendations from the investigation agencies. On Thursday, AIIMS issued a fresh set of Standard operating procedures (SOP) which says admission, discharge and transfer of patients will be done manually at the hospital till the E-Hospital is down.

“Latest SOPs that have to be followed in manual mode till E-Hospital is down. Admission, discharge and transfer are to be done manually at AIIMS, New Delhi. Indent to be done manually,” the hospital had said. Earlier on Wednesday, AIIMS reported a failure in its server. The server has been down since Wednesday, and the officials have been manually managing the OPD and sample collection.

The AIIMS said that measures to restore the online services are on and it has also sought support from Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) and National Informatics Centre (NIC) on the same.

“The servers for the National Informatics Centre’s e-Hospital being used at AIIMS, New Delhi was down due to which outpatient and inpatient digital hospital services including, smart lab, billing, report generation, appointment system etc., have been affected. All these services are running on manual mode currently.”

“National Informatics Centre (NIC) team working at AIIMS has informed that this may be a ransomware attack which is being reported and will be investigated by appropriate law enforcement authorities. Measures are being taken to restore the digital services and support is being sought from Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) and National Informatics Centre (NIC),” AIIMS said in a statement.

“AIIMS and NIC will take due precaution to prevent such attacks in future. As of 7.30 pm, the hospital services are running on manual mode,” as per the statement.

“The staff has been managing the outpatient department (OPD) and sample collection manually. But those who do not have a Unique Health Identification are facing problems in this regard. The administration is also facing problems in admission and discharge of patients,” the statement had stated. (ANI)

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