“Potentially dangerous” cyber attack still impacting Lahti residents

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File image of computer, cyber / Credit: iStock

A cyber attack that hit IT infrastructure in Lahti on Monday is still having an impact on local residents.

City officials say one computer was initially infected with malware, and it then spread to a thousand other machines belonging to City of Lahti employees.

As a precaution, Päijät-Häme Social & Healthcare services cut off their links with the City of Lahti network and it’s this move which has caused problems for patients.

“It’s our impression at the moment that they attack was targeted against Lahti city and our problems are because we had to curb the risk that the attack would spread to our technical environment as well” says Sampo Syrjäläinen, acting Information Officer with Päijät-Häme Social & Healthcare.

“This is a heavy precautionary measure but we have many things in common with Lahti city network and we made an assessment that there is a substantial risk that the cyber attack would spread to our enviornment, so we cut off the network connections to Lahti city” he tells News Now Finland.

Impact on patients 

Patients in the region will already notice some disruption to services, and doctors are going back to technology-free practices when writing prescriptions.

“The situation is difficult in general and potentially dangerous, but still we can povide all kinds of emergency services” says Päijät-Häme Social & Healthcare Medical Director Juhani Sand.

Health care providers have already had to figure out how to access patient files so they can have treatment, but there are still some problems being encountered.

“We can take x-rays and blood samples, but the prescriptions need to be done in a more difficult way. In many cases we can do electronic prescriptions, but not in all cases, and we have to use traditional pen and paper methods” Sand says.

Ongoing investigation 

The National Bureau of Investigation NBI says they have launched an investigation into the cyber attack, with specialist officers in Lahti to to evaluate the situation and gather any electronic evidence.