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AIIMS taps top IT firms for tech management after cyber attack

While AIIMS is taking several measures for cyber security, all hospital services, including outpatient, in-patient, laboratories, etc continue to run on manual mode. (HT)Premium
While AIIMS is taking several measures for cyber security, all hospital services, including outpatient, in-patient, laboratories, etc continue to run on manual mode. (HT)

Even as the country’s premier medical institute, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), is grappling with one of the biggest cyberattacks damaging the precious research and healthcare data of millions of patients, the AIIMS authorities have initiated conversations with top government and private IT firms for future management of their computer and IT related work

NEW DELHI : Even as the country’s premier medical institute, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), is grappling with one of the biggest cyberattacks damaging the precious research and healthcare data of millions of patients, the AIIMS authorities have initiated conversations with top government and private IT firms for future management of their computer and IT related work.

“It is the eighth day since the cyberattack has taken place and damage has already been done. But we do not want to waste time and hence, started discussion with top IT companies as immediate next steps. We will see which firm is capable of doing our IT work and accordingly action will be taken," said an official at AIIMS requesting anonymity.

Meanwhile, several government agencies — National Investigation Agency, India Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-IN), Delhi police, Defence Research and Development Organization, Intelligence Bureau, Central Bureau of Investigation and the ministry of home affairs are constantly investigating the matter and trying to restore the data.

Asked about the ransomware demand of 200 crore by the hackers, another official said, “For sure, AIIMS data has been hacked, but as of now, there is no such discussion about the ransom from the hacker during our meeting, however, as a part of their communication, it seems that they are “rookie hackers" who are trying to show their ability and mocking our security features."

Queries sent to health ministry and AIIMS spokesperson did not respond immediately.

Rahul Sasi, co-founder & CEO of CloudSEK, a Singapore based cyber security and research firm said, “As per our research, there are some discussions going on dark web related to AIIMS cyberattack among different hacker groups and they are claiming easy security issues with multiple flaws in AIIMS IT features. But what kind of data and what is the ransom, it is still not figured out."

While AIIMS is taking several measures for cyber security, all hospital services, including outpatient, in-patient, laboratories, etc continue to run on manual mode. The institute sees more than 20,000 patients per day in OPD.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Priyanka Sharma

Priyanka Shamra is a health and pharma journalist with nearly nine years of field reporting experience. She is a special correspondent with Mint. Her beat includes covering the Ministry of Health and Department of Pharmaceuticals. She also covers the Ministry of Women and Child Development and the Department of Biotechnology.
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