Michael Garron Hospital’s IT systems attacked by virus
November 1, 2023
TORONTO – A major downtown Toronto hospital is investigating what it calls a data security incident. Michael Garron Hospital, part of a group of healthcare institutions called the Toronto East Health Network, said on its website that it learned of the incident on October 26.
“We are actively investigating and assessing the impact of the incident with the support of third-party expert,” the statement says. “At this time there are no known impacts to clinical applications or patient care services.” However, it makes no reference to employee data.
The hospital has announced a Code Grey – meaning an IT emergency – to facilitate the co-ordination of resources and business continuity. It also notified its partners, which may include IT providers as well as the province.
“Out of an abundance of caution our teams are in the process of planning and implementing additional proactive measures to safeguard our data and information systems while the investigation is underway,” the statement says.
The announcement comes the same week an attack on a shared IT services provider impacted five southern Ontario hospitals. On Thursday, the hospitals posted a notice that there was an IT outage still affecting some services, days after the attack was detected.
However, the Michael Garron Hospital said its outage is unrelated to the attack in southwest Ontario, according to a statement on its website:
“On Thursday, October 26, Michael Garron Hospital (MGH) initiated a Code Grey to facilitate a swift and coordinated response to the incident and ensure minimal disruption to hospital and broader health system operations.
“During the weekend, we continued to work together with a team of third-party experts across the sector to investigate and assess the impact of the incident. The investigation is progressing well and our programs and patient care services are operating normally.
“We have no indication that this data security incident is related to the cyberattack recently experienced by other hospitals in Southwestern Ontario.
The Michael Garron Hospital has almost 3,000 staff, including more than 530 physicians. In January, it opened a new wing with 215 inpatient beds It also has new mental health facilities for children, youth and adults.