​Sudbury Ontario Health Care System hit by Zero-Day Virus​

2019, Breaches, January

Who: Health Sciences North Sudbury Ontario

What was affected: The computer system of Sudbury, Ontario-based Health Sciences North was infected by a zero-day virus, driving officials to shut down its EHR to contain the infection at 21 Health Science North Hospitals. All 24 hospitals in the region rely on our information technology platform or systems, one way or the other.

When it happened: January 17, 2019

How it happened: The virus came from another hospital in the region and impacted several internal software systems causing delays with some of our programs, longer wait times in the Emergency Department and forcing chemotherapy and radiation therapy treatments to be canceled at the North East Cancer Centre and satellite clinics.

To protect the other hospitals, officials have implemented other preventative measures, including shutting down some systems. Giroux explained that out of its 24 hospitals, 21 are currently operating with the central electronic health record system on downtime.

Further, 12 hospitals have the cancer system on downtime, while 10 have turned off the medical imaging systems. Giroux explained that four hospitals shut down the email and office software.

Outcome: Several IT experts, including McAfee, are working to rectify the problem as soon as possible. There was a useful backup data, so they are confident that they will be able to restore information by Friday and will begin rebuilding our most major systems for Health Sciences North. Currently, the Health Science North website is down, presumably due to the zero-day attack.