Life Healthcare Group takes systems offline after 'targeted criminal attack' on its IT system

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A nurse pushes a patient into surgery.
A nurse pushes a patient into surgery.
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Life Healthcare Group says its southern African operations have been hit by a "targeted criminal attack on its IT systems".

The healthcare provider said patient care had not been impacted.

"The extent to which sensitive data has been compromised is yet to be determined as we are still in the process of investigating the incident."

"External cyber security experts and forensic teams have been brought on board to advise and supplement our internal teams and capacity," the group said in a statement on Tuesday morning, adding that it took its systems offline has soon as it became aware of the incident. 

"In line with our business continuity plans, our hospitals and administrative offices have switchedover to backup manual processing systems and continue to function, albeit and regrettably, with some administrative delays. The security incident has affected admissions systems, business processing systems and email servers," it said. 

"We are deeply disappointed and saddened thatcriminals would attack our facilities during such a time, when we are all working tirelessly andcollectively to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. However, we will not be distracted, and will continue to place our patients first," said the group's acting CEO, Pieter Van der Westhuizen.

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