Subscribe to Holyrood updates

Newsletter sign-up


Follow us

Scotland’s fortnightly political & current affairs magazine


Subscribe to Holyrood
by Sofia Villegas
24 June 2024
Cyber gang leaks 400GB of NHS data on the dark web

Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust | Alamy

Cyber gang leaks 400GB of NHS data on the dark web

A cyber gang has published almost 400GB of sensitive NHS data on the dark web after officials did not meet its payment demands.

The incident comes after the Russian cyber criminals Qilin attacked London hospital's blood testing partner, Synnovis. 

It is believed confidential information leaked includes patients’ names, dates of birth, NHS numbers and blood test results. However, NHS England has yet to confirm if the data is legitimate.

NHS England has said it is working with Synnovis, the National Cyber Security Centre and other partners to find out what information has been leaked “as quickly as possible”.

Qilin hacked Synnovis IT system on June 3 and demanded up to $50m (£40M)  in exchange for the data not to be released. 

The incident affected Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust (GSTT) and King’s College NHS Foundation Trust and led to more than 3,000 hospital and GP appointments and operations being disrupted.

Synnovis said: “We know how worrying this development may be for many people. We are taking it very seriously and an analysis of this data is already underway.”

The hack led NHS officials to call a critical incident after pathology services in King’s College Hospital, Guy’s and St Thomas’ and other trusts were rendered unusable by the hack.

This comes at the back of a similar incident north of the border.

Last week NHS Dumfries and Galloway had to tell everyone in the region to assume that some of their data had likely been leaked as part of a cyber-attack that occurred earlier this year.

South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has said the scale of the leak and the number of those affected is "significantly higher than was first envisaged”.

The health board had confidential data stolen by a ransomware gang in February. When it did not meet payment demands, the cyber gang released a “large” amount of data belonging to the health board on the dark web in May.

Holyrood Newsletters

Holyrood provides comprehensive coverage of Scottish politics, offering award-winning reporting and analysis: Subscribe

Read the most recent article written by Sofia Villegas - UK employers optimistic about AI, poll finds.

Get award-winning journalism delivered straight to your inbox

Get award-winning journalism delivered straight to your inbox


Popular reads
Back to top