Waikato DHB restores more than half its servers following crippling cyber attack

Laura James
Source: 1News

Two weeks on from a crippling cyber attack, Waikato District Health Board has restored over half of its servers.

But "there’s still a way to go", according to the health board’s chief executive Dr Kevin Snee.

In a press conference today he said desktop workstations across the DHB’s five hospitals will be back up and running in the next two days.

"Alongside this we have implemented monitoring systems for our workstations that provide heightened security at a desktop level."

But the DHB’s missed its own deadline for restoring radiation therapy services by today.

"We didn’t meet that deadline but we do expect it to be back up and running by next Tuesday," Snee said.

"It’s taken longer than we expected," he said. "We now have much greater confidence in the timelines we’re proposing."

"I expect by the end of next week the hospital will be in a much better state."

Dr Chris Lowry, executive director of the DHB, said, "the other system that we are working towards getting up and running for early next week is our information patient management system".

"That means we will be able to track patients more effectively once they come into our organisation and get transferred to wards," she said.

Snee says the DHB has contacted most of those who had their information leaked by the hackers, in an email to some media organisations.

But he said: "There’s a couple of people we’ve been unable to contact, because the contact details are not available." 

"It was a sophisticated attack, which was carried out by people intending to seriously disrupt our service to extort money."

The DHB’s reassuring the public it has good backups of data, to restore its servers, despite speculation backups were corrupted.

Lowry told media activity at the hospital has started to increase slightly, but she's reminding Waikato residents to continue to keep emergency departments for true emergencies.