Multiple London hospitals suffer from ‘critical’ cyberattack

5 Jun 2024

Image: © doganmesut/

Primary care services across south-east London have been impacted by the ransomware attack, as healthcare remains an attractive target for criminals.

A dangerous ransomware attack has impacted multiple hospitals in London, causing various procedures to be cancelled or redirected.

A spokesperson for the National Health Service (NHS) London region said a cyberattack on Synnovis, a provider of pathology services, is having a “significant impact” for services in multiple hospitals in the country’s capital.

The London hospitals impacted by the cyberattack include King’s College Hospital, Guy’s and St Thomas’. The incident has impacted primary care services in south-east London and the NHS confirmed that some activity has been cancelled or redirected to prioritise urgent work.

The BBC reports that some of these hospitals have declared a critical incident as a result of the disruption, while various GP services have been affected. The NHS said emergency care is still available and that patients should continue to attend appointments “unless they are told otherwise”.

“We are working urgently to fully understand the impact of the incident with the support of the government’s National Cyber Security Centre and our cyber operations team,” the NHS spokesperson said.

Synnovis provides its pathology services to the NHS, clinical users and other service users. It claims to be transforming existing hospital-based laboratory and diagnostic services into an integrated network for south-east London. A spokesperson for the company told the BBC that it is “incredibly sorry for the inconvenience” and that it is working to “minimise the impacts”.

It is currently unclear how the attack happened but it appears the incident happened on Monday (3 June). Claud Bilbao, a regional VP of underwriting and distribution for cybersecurity insurance company Cowbell, said the healthcare sector has been an attractive target for cybercriminals “for many years now”.

“As companies in this sector are known for owning, processing and storing a vast amount of highly sensitive data and personal information, cybercriminals have discovered that when this information is sold to adversaries on the dark web, it can be highly lucrative,” Bilbao said.

“This most recent cyber incident reminds us that it is not only the personal data that needs to be protected within the healthcare space, but the whole network infrastructure. With our increased reliance on technology, we can see the devastating impact a cyber event can have on major and crucial healthcare facilities.”

There have been various incidents over the years of healthcare organisations facing ransomware attacks, including the HSE cyberattack in 2021 and more recently, the massive UnitedHealth ransomware attack in the US.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic