Hackers steal Covid test data of 1.4 million people from Paris hospital system

By Sarah Elzas with RFI
France  Eric GaillardReuters
SEP 16, 2021 LISTEN
© Eric Gaillard/Reuters

Hackers stole the personal data of around 1.4 million people who took Covid-19 tests in the Paris region in the middle of 2020. The hack of a service of the Paris public hospital system, AP-HP, is the latest in a growing number of cyberattacks on French health institutions and Covid data breaches.

“All the people concerned, to whom AP-HP apologises, will be individually informed in the coming days,” said the Paris public hospital system in a statement.

The data stolen includes the names, social security numbers, contact information and results for those tested in mid-2020 in the Paris, area, as well as the names and contact information for the health professionals treating them.

No other health information was stolen, said AP-HP as the attack was a system used only in September 2020 to transmit information to the national Covid contact-tracing system, SI-DEP, which was having problems. That system was affected by the hack.

The Paris hospital system says access to the compromised service has since been cut, as investigations continue to find the origin and the mode of the hack.

Hospital officials have filed a complaint with the Paris prosecutor's office, and have notified the French data watchdog, the CNIL, which has opened its own investigation into the attack.

Earlier this month, Covid test results and identifying information for 700,000 people were leaked, after a breach in a platform built for pharmacists to interface with the secure SI-DEP system.

French hospitals have been the targets of hackers and ransomware attacks since the start of the Covid epidemic.

(with wires)