Woman dies in Germany after cyber attack prevented hospital from accepting emergency patients

A WOMAN has died after a cyber attack prevented a hospital from accepting emergency patients.

A hacker launched a ransomware attack on Dusseldorf University Clinic in Germany on September 10.


A woman in a life-threatening condition who needed urgent treatment died after she was unable to be treated at the hospital.

She had to be taken to Wuppertal instead, around 32km away.

Doctors were unable to treat her for an hour and she later died.

The death is believed to be the first in the world directly caused by a cyber attack.

Dusseldorf police have launched an investigation against the unknown hackers on suspicion of negligent manslaughter.

The hack was believed to have been misdirected, with the intended target being Heinrich Heine University. The hospital is affiliated with the university.

The ransomware attack did not contain any figure to be paid but a note was left on a hospital server that told the targets to contact the hacker.

After the hospital was attacked, cops contacted the hacker and told them that patients had been put in danger.

The perpetrators then took back their ransom demands and gave police a digital key to lift the block.

North Rhine-Westphalia state's justice minister Peter Biesenbach produced a report which said the hackers are no longer reachable.

A ransomware attack happens when a hacker blocks access to data or threatens to make it public unless a ransom is paid.

Investigators found the attack was due to a weak spot in "widely-used commercial add-on software".

As of yesterday, the hospital's IT systems were still being affected by the hack.

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