Cyberattack hits 5 hospitals

Canadian health service provider TransForm has published an update about the cyberattack at its member hospitals.

TransForm is a not-for-profit, shared service organization founded by the five hospitals in Erie St. Clair to manage their hospital IT, supply chain, and accounts payable needs.

The five affected hospitals, Bluewater Health, Chatham Kent Health Alliance, Erie Shores HealthCare, Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare, and Windsor Regional Hospital, have had to reschedule appointments with their patients due to the attack.

On October 23, 2023, Transform released news that its member hospitals and Windsor-Essex Hospice were experiencing a systems outage, including email. In an update later that day it said that the incident is impacting the hospitals’ provision of care in various ways.

“For those patients who have care scheduled in the next few days, the hospitals will contact you directly, if possible, to reschedule or provide alternate arrangements.”

Even though TransForm does not provide any more details about the nature of the attack, it’s highly likely that this is a supply chain attack since all member hospitals are experiencing problems.

In a media release, the affected hospitals asked patients to reduce the impact by only visiting the hospitals if they need emergency care.

Because there is no clarity about the nature of the attack, it’s hard to say what other consequences it may have on the hospitals and their patients.

“We are investigating the cause and scope of incident, including whether any patient information was affected. Our investigation is ongoing and we will provide further updates, as appropriate.“

All parties have declined to comment until more information becomes available.

The risks of compromised supply chains keeps growing, and as long as organizations continue to rely on them without fully understanding the implications the risks are here to stay. It is essential for businesses and their suppliers to work together to harden their defenses, to minimize the risk of having their supply chain compromised.

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Pieter Arntz

Malware Intelligence Researcher

Was a Microsoft MVP in consumer security for 12 years running. Can speak four languages. Smells of rich mahogany and leather-bound books.