Synlab Italia suspends operations following ransomware attack

Synlab Italia suspends operations following ransomware attack

Synlab Italia has suspended all its medical diagnostic and testing services after a ransomware attack forced its IT systems to be taken offline.

Part of the Synlab group that is present in 30 countries worldwide, the Synlab Italia network operates 380 labs and medical centers across Italy. It has an annual turnover of $426 million and carries out 35 million analyses every year.

Late last week, the company announced that it had suffered a security breach in the early hours of April 18, which forced it to shut down all computers to limit the damaging activity.

“As soon as they became aware, the IT department proceeded to exclude the entire corporate infrastructure from the network and to shut down all the machines in compliance with the company’s IT security procedures,” reads the company’s announcement.

Although the company has not confirmed, some sensitive medical data may have been exposed to the attackers.

“As Data Processor pursuant to art. 28 GDPR, we inform you that to date, we cannot exclude that this attack may concern the personal data referred to in the services provided to you and under your ownership of the treatment” – Synlab Italia

As a result of this incident, all laboratory analysis and sample collection services have been suspended until further notice. Customers are advised to use phone to contact Synlab because email communication services are inactive.

Medical samples that Synlab had received before the cyberattack but had not started to analyze are stored in low-temperature conditions as required in each case. However, depending on how long it will take to restore systems, customers might have to submit new samples.

The company published an update over the weekend, informing that it has started gradually reactivating some services, including specialist outpatient visits and physiotherapy.

Meanwhile, effort is being made to make sure that malware is no longer present on the IT infrastructure and to restore systems from backup.

“In these hours, the SYNLAB task force is being analyzed for every single portion of the IT infrastructure, including backup systems, in order to restore the systems safely as soon as possible,” reads the status update.

No specific recovery timeline was provided. Instead, customers were encouraged to check the website or follow Synlab’s social media channels for further updates.

By the time of writing, no major ransomware gangs has claimed responsibility for the cyberattack on Synlab Italia.

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