The Brno University Hospital in Brno, Czech Republic, was hit by a cyber attack right in the middle of the outbreak of COVID-19, which is on the rise in the small central European region.
Hospital authorities have not disclosed the extent of the safety breach; however, the accident was deemed severe enough to postpone immediate operation and to reroute incoming emergency patients to neighboring St. Anne’s University Hospital, local media confirmed.
During the accident, the hospital was forced to shut down the entire IT network, and two other divisions of the hospital, the Children’s Hospital and the Maternity Hospital, were also impacted.
The virus took place at around 5 a.m. In the morning, local time, Peter Gramantik, a patient in the hospital at the time, and a security researcher with Sucuri, told After the accident, teams from the Czech National Information Security Center (NCSC), Czech Police (NCOZ) and IT workers at the hospital are now working together on-site to repair the hospital’s IT network.
“The hospital public announcement system started to repeat the message that all personnel should immediately shut down all computers due to ‘cybernetic security’,” Gramantik told
“This message was repeated like every 30 minutes.
“Around 8 a.m. there was another public announcement that all the surgeries are cancelled,” Gramantik said, who was then sent home.
The accident is deemed to be critical and handled with the utmost priority, as the University Hospital of Brno is one of the main COVID-19 research laboratories in the Czech Republic.
By the time it was released, it remained unclear whether the coronavirus test infrastructure of the hospital had been compromised, perhaps briefly, by a cyber attack.
According to the latest statistics, 117 infections have been reported in the Czech Republic, as the incredibly viral disease seems to have just started to propagate in the small country, and the hospital’s maximum monitoring resources are sorely needed right now.
Unfortunately, following the global outbreak of COVID-19, hackers have not eased activities, neither common cyber criminals nor sophisticated state-sponsored organisations.
Earlier this week, the networks of the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District were struck by ransomware; nevertheless, the agency did not carry out the COVID-19 checks as was the case at the Brno hospital.
I really hope that bad guys step back in the coming weeks and do not attack & encrypted hospitals with ransomware#coronavirus
— abuse.ch (@abuse_ch) March 13, 2020