11 July 2024

Thailand’s Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul has ordered an investigation into the hacking of the computer system of Saraburi Hospital, rendering the entire system inoperable and disrupting medical services.

The Minister is also coordinating with the Ministry of Digital for Economy and Society to develop measures to prevent a similar cyber-attack at state hospitals across the country.

The hackers infested the hospital’s system with a ransomware virus on Saturday and allegedly demanded 200,000 bitcoins, or about 63 billion baht in ransom, to restore the hospital’s information.  As of today, the computer system is still not working.

Pol Col Krisana Pattanacharoen, Deputy Spokesman of the Royal Thai Police, told the media today that officers from the Technology Crime Suppression Division have been dispatched to Saraburi Hospital to try to trace the perpetrators.

Hacking is a crime subject to 1-7 years imprisonment and/or a fine of up to 140,000 baht. If, however, the hacking causes damage or changes to information in a computer system, the penalties are 3-15 years imprisonment and/or a fine up to 300,000 baht.

Dr. Jarinya Chulanit, a doctor at the hospital, said in her Facebook post today that the hospital is very concerned, because doctors cannot access patient medical files.

“We have to ask patients what drugs they have been using and details of their diseases.  If they bring their old drug prescriptions, then it will be helpful, but 80 of them did not,” she said.

Although the hospital has backup files, they are not up to date, she added.