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by Sofia Villegas
17 June 2024
More than 100,000 patients ‘likely’ impacted by NHS cyber-attack

Everyone in Dumfries and Galloway told to assume their data has likely been leaked | aLAMY

More than 100,000 patients ‘likely’ impacted by NHS cyber-attack

NHS Dumfries and Galloway has told everyone in the region to assume some of their data is likely to have been leaked following a major cyber-attack in February.

Almost 150,000 people live in Dumfries and Galloway.

The health board's chief executive Julie White is expected to send a leaflet to all households describing the situation as “extremely serious” and advice on how to stay safe online.

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”.

In May, the health board confirmed a “large volume” of its data had been leaked on the dark web, including some children’s mental health data.

The National Records of Scotland (NRS) has confirmed a “large volume” of its data was also accessed as part of the incident.

Patients considered at “high risk” are expected to be contacted individually by the health board.

X-rays, test results and letters between healthcare professionals are among the information that has been published.

However, Smyth said it remains “unclear what exactly has been leaked on each person”.

He added that the data did not appear to have been used against anyone so far.

White said: “Since the cyber-attack, we have been asking both staff and the public to be on their guard for any suspicious activity. This includes any attempts to access computer systems, such as suspicious emails from an unverified sender asking them to click a link (known as ‘phishing’), as well as phone calls. If anyone has suspicions, they should call Police Scotland by phoning 101.”

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