Computer virus strikes systems at JGH
November 4, 2020
MONTREAL – Information systems at the Jewish General Hospital were hit last week by a cyber-attack, and as a preventive measure, internet connectivity as well as external and remote access to the hospital’s networks were suspended.
The hospital said that because of the precautions being taken, access to patient records and data were limited, resuting in a slowdown of frontline services. The centre is investigating the attack with the support of the Cyber-Security Team at the Ministry of Health and Social Services.
Dr. Lawrence Rosenberg, executive director of the health authority in charge of the Jewish General, said it was not a ransomware attack, as no demand has been made for money.
As well, the hospital said that as far it knows, no information about patients or staff had been lost.
According to a report in the Montreal Gazette, the IT department at the Jewish General has been trying to isolate the computer anomaly and has sealed off the hospital from the rest of the health network’s intranet.
Surgery and other clinical activities are continuing, but scheduling has been suspended at the Côte-des-Neiges institution. The Montreal centre-west health authority issued a statement saying the phone system had also been affected.
“This has led to problems with our phone system, and as a result, for the time being residents are not able to speak with family and friends,” the statement said. “Staff as well are unable to accept incoming calls through the centre. Methods are in place to ensure communication between healthcare professionals.”