Data concerns over ransomware attack on NHS software supplier

A software outage that has affected the running of the NHS 111 service across the UK has been confirmed as a ransomware attack.

The incident, first reported early on Thursday 4 August, affected several healthcare customers of managed service provider Advanced. It is currently unclear whether patient data has been compromised, but several NHS services remain affected.

Advanced provide the Adastra patient management system which helps clinicians at the telephone and online 111 service to manage and refer patients for care, including ambulance dispatch, out-of-hours appointment bookings, and emergency prescriptions. It is now believed that in addition, the attack has also affected its Caresys and Carenotes systems, which are used to run processes for care home services such as patient notes and visitor bookings.

The National Cyber Security Centre is investigating the scale of the damage caused by the attack, and the Information Commissioner’s Office is also making inquiries.

Advanced has originally hoped to fully restore systems earlier this week, but now admits that it could take three or four weeks to recover.

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