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A cyberattack on Newfoundland and Labrador, the easternmost province of Canada, has resulted in significant disruption for healthcare providers and medical facilities.

The incident occurred on October 30th, causing regional health systems to close down their systems and call off thousands of medical consultations.

The Central Health, Eastern Health, Western Health, and Labrador-Grenfell Regional Health authorities were all affected by the outage.

According to BleepingComputer, the IT disruption has also hampered communications in the area, with people reporting that they couldn’t contact the medical facilities or 911 by phone.

The Department of Health and Community Services declared on Sunday that, with the cooperation of the managed service provider Bell Aliant, they had begun an investigation in order to understand the nature and extent of the attack.

Back to the Beginnings: Pen and Paper

Because emails are down and doctors are unable to register new patients or upload and access personal health information on the database, numerous impacted medical centers have gone back to pen and paper.

They also had to postpone or cancel consultations for chemotherapy, x-ray scans, surgeries, and other complex services. Vaccinations, urgent care, and admission of patients that cannot be refused are the only procedures that continue to function normally.

Did the Canadian Province Suffer a Ransomware Attack?

The investigation is ongoing, according to Health Minister John Haggie, who refused to comment on whether the harm was caused by a ransomware attack, in which cybercriminals ask for a ransom in exchange for restoring access.

At a press on Monday, the Health Minister and Eastern Health CEO David Diamond declared that the cyberattack had a “significant impact” and a “damaged data center.”

According to John Haggie, things are expected to go back to normal in a couple of days.

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