The AIIMS servers continue to remain down for the sixth day in row, with new reports claiming hackers demanding Rs 200 crores in cryptocurrency. AIIMS, the country’s government-run institute, is in a digital purgatory, with its e-hospital services continue to be on hold due to the alleged cyberattack. From patient’s database, to day-to-day activities which were streamlined thanks to e-services, to OPD registrations, to health records, everything has been in a state of disarray since the last seven days.
On Monday, Press Trust of India quoted sources claiming that hackers have demanded Rs 200 crores in cryptocurrency to let the website and the hospital’s e-services function like it did a week ago. After the report of Rs 200 crore demand emerged, the Delhi police claimed that there has bene no ransom demand and the IB, Delhi Police, and Ministry of Home Affairs, are working together to probe the matter.
For the unversed, AIIMS servers contain data of as many as 4 crore patients. Due to its legacy, the hospital has served former ministers, political leaders, influential celebrities, and their data too is reportedly at risk of being either lost, or worse, going to organizations or entities with malice.
Following the attack, the outpatient, inpatient, laboratory, emergency services, were shifted to being managed manually.
The Facts of the Matter
Imagine one of the largest hospital servers being down for a week! All the outpatient, inpatient, and other e-services that were managed and streamlined online, pushed to being manually recorded. Work of doctors, technicians, and researchers thrown in disarray, and lives of patients being treated in hospital, thrown in a disorder.
The nightmarish situation is reality in AIIMS, after its server were allegedly attacked by ransomwares recently. As of November 29, 1:17 pm, the servers of the AIIMS are down, making it the seventh day in the row.
Attackers Demand Rs 200 Cr, Delhi Police Refutes Claims
Earlier on Monday, Press Trust of India quoted sources claiming that the cyberattacks responsible for the ransomware that has disrupted the e-services of AIIMS, have demanded Rs 200 crores in cryptocurrency
However, Delhi police issued a statement, refuting to the alleged demand. “No ransom demand, as being quoted by certain sections of the media, has been brought to our notice by the AIIMS authorities,” a Delhi police spokesperson stated.
Data of 3-4 Crore Patients Could Be Compromised
For the unversed, AIIMS is India’s premier institute, where hundreds of thousands of patients have received treatment from. This includes former Prime Ministers, Presidents, cabinet ministers, other political leaders, and influential celebrities. It is now being feared that data of at least 3-4 crore patients has been compromised due to the breach.
AIIMS meanwhile issued a statement earlier this week which read, “The data restoration and server cleaning is in progress and is taking some time due to the volume of data and a large number of servers…”
As per a Times Now report, AIIMS also published a circular against possible cyberattacks, asking staff using AIIMS network have their PCs and systems be formatted.
Damage Control Initiated
For damage control, the National Informatics Centre is conducting scans and cleanup additional AIIMS servers required for delivery of e-services. Meanwhile, some servers and a chunk of hospital database was reported being operational after the attack.
Further, four physical servers were setup to restore e-services and AIIMS network is now being sanitized.
Probe Kicked Off
Along with the Ministry of Home Affairs, and the India Computer Emergency Response Team, the Delhi Police have initiated a probe in the matter. A case of extortion and cyberterrorism was launched by the Intelligence Fusion and Strategic Operations (IFSO) branch of the Delhi Police.