Follow Us

We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message

Mystery ‘virus’ disrupts New Zealand ambulance service

Malware sends operators back to manual communication

Article comments

Staff at New Zealand’s St John’s Ambulance service were forced to coordinate emergency call-outs using manual radio systems last week after computers systems were hit by a mystery ‘virus’.

The disruption reportedly began on Wednesday when an unidentified piece of malware started affecting the systems used across the country for paging and radio communications with ambulances in the field, sending staff back to manual radio contact.

By Friday morning, engineers at what is the country’s main ambulance service had finally managed to restore these systems without identifying how the malware got inside the organisation’s security controls.

"Anti-virus software protected the systems but as a result of the virus it impacted on some of the system's services, mainly those related to paging and radio. Back-up systems immediately took over when it was detected and the workload was managed manually," said ambulance communications chief, Alan Goudge to a New Zealand news source.

Exactly why some systems were downed while others survived is unclear but the fact that several centres were affected would suggest that the malware had the ability to spread within a network, which points to a worm component on one network segment.

Unnamed sources are now blaming an infection introduced by way of a USB stick. If so this will be only the latest organisation to be embarrassed by what are often quite basic but fast-spreading pieces of malware.

A month ago the Creech US Air Force in Nevada used to direct drone attacks against militants in Afghanistan was left red-faced by reports that non-critical computers had been hit by a worm. The malware turned out to be a simple keylogger for stealing gaming passwords and user names transferred on to the network from a portable storage device.  

In 2008, the NHS in the UK got its own warning on the potential for trouble with the news that three London hospitals had to be shut for a period after record and admissions systems were disrupted by malware.



Share:

More from Techworld

More relevant IT news

Comments



Send to a friend

Email this article to a friend or colleague:

PLEASE NOTE: Your name is used only to let the recipient know who sent the story, and in case of transmission error. Both your name and the recipient's name and address will not be used for any other purpose.

Techworld White Papers

Choose – and Choose Wisely – the Right MSP for Your SMB

End users need a technology partner that provides transparency, enables productivity, delivers...

Download Whitepaper

10 Effective Habits of Indispensable IT Departments

It’s no secret that responsibilities are growing while budgets continue to shrink. Download this...

Download Whitepaper

Gartner Magic Quadrant for Enterprise Information Archiving

Enterprise information archiving is contributing to organisational needs for e-discovery and...

Download Whitepaper

Advancing the state of virtualised backups

Dell Software’s vRanger is a veteran of the virtualisation specific backup market. It was the...

Download Whitepaper

Techworld UK - Technology - Business

Innovation, productivity, agility and profit

Watch this on demand webinar which explores IT innovation, managed print services and business agility.

Techworld Mobile Site

Access Techworld's content on the move

Get the latest news, product reviews and downloads on your mobile device with Techworld's mobile site.

Find out more...

From Wow to How : Making mobile and cloud work for you

On demand Biztech Briefing - Learn how to effectively deliver mobile work styles and cloud services together.

Watch now...

Site Map

* *