back to article Lawsuit claims hospital ransomware infection cost baby her life

A hospital that continued to admit patients during a ransomware attack has been sued over claims that a baby died after doctors and nurses failed to spot there was a problem due to networks being shut down. Nicko Silar died after six months in intensive care after being born at Springhill Memorial Hospital with the umbilical …

  1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    A hospital that continued to admit patients during a ransomware attack

    Could this be used to infer the "back to basics" experience of the staff involved where the attack has no effect on clinical outcomes?

    I wonder what effect a ransomware attack would have on systems relying on AI for their expertise.

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: A hospital that continued to admit patients during a ransomware attack

      What would you prefer? As soon as a hospital realises it's been compromised they kick everyone out?

  2. Omidia

    As for the payment details being invalid I guess they mean expired. But it’s not like my cc number changes when it expires I just get a new expiry date 2 years later.

    How much good is a credit card number with out cvv these days?

    1. Jamesit

      The people with invalid card numbers may have reported the cards stolen and been given new numbers, making the old ones invalid.

    2. katrinab Silver badge

      You can buy stuff on Amazon without a CVV, and you can have it delivered anywhere.

      Maybe there is some way to detect stolen cards and trace back to the thief, but it is not immediately obvious.

      Obviously if you have it delivered to your own address, you could be traced afterwards, but to an Amazon locker or empty property, it is less obvious.

    3. Snake Silver badge

      Easy solution?!

      Stop allowing web sites to save your CC info. Type it in manually every time, you lazy buggers.

      Yet another "security" flaw that is easily fixed with more personal user responsibility.

      1. Rattus

        Re: Easy solution?!

        great idea.

        Now if only I could trust every website to NOT save my card details on a web addressable server as well then we would be headding in the right direction

        1. Snake Silver badge

          Re: Easy solution?!

          Now, note, I [intentionally] do not make many purchases off random sites on the internet due to this very issue. I try to buy only from sellers I've purchased from before, I do not spread my CC info around nilly-willy (I use, gasp!, CASH almost exclusively and do not trust the people & systems that (should) keep my info secure). Indeed, one of the few times I actually used my CC in-person to make a purchase...fake Apple iTunes purchases were made using my account the next day. Since I *never* buy *anything* Apple, you can be sure that I reported it immediately and let my frustration be known.

          I make sure I select "Do not save my credit card info" during checkout.

          On those websites that don't offer this option, I go back after the purchase has been made and intentionally delete my CC info from "Saved Payments".

          But I use NoScript, Privacy Badger, UBlock and Facebook Container; delete all cookies after every session; permanently block cookies from known trackers such as Google, Facebook, Doubleclick and Bing et al; block all non-visited cookies; Do Not Track; no Facebook, Instagram, etc etc etc.

          In other words, I take an active participation in my own on-line security. The vast, vast, VAST majority of people are, well, lazy and expect other people to take care of these issues, and then (have the nerve, from my personal perspective) to get angry when those people can't get it right 100% of the time.

          Take some personal responsibility. Take some level of security into your own hands and keep track of where, and when, you give out your personal information. Who will use it, who will see it, who will keep it, who is tracking it. It's YOURS.

  3. martinusher Silver badge

    You don't need a computer to deliver a baby....

    ....but you definitely need a fully functional IT system to correctly bill for the service.

    Don't forget, the problem with the Colonial Pipeline attack earlier this year wasn't that the pipeline ceased operating but the management and billing systems wend down.

  4. Marty McFly Silver badge


    ....Because babies will just hold things up and not pop out if the hospital is unavailable.

    Women have been delivering babies for thousands (millions?) of years without a local hospital. I am saddened by the outcome of this event. There is an 'old fashioned' way to get this job done and deal with unexpected adversity using skills & experience rather than relying on computer technology.

    1. Blazde

      Re: Riiiiight

      The old fashioned way involves somewhere around 5% chance of baby not making it, and 1% chance of mother not making it. Hospital availability has cut those risks by something like one order of magnitude and two orders of magnitude respectively.

    2. I am David Jones

      Re: Riiiiight

      They could e.g. have been diverted to a different hospital that was fully functional.

      And it seems they had people with the skills and experience in place, but were unable to contact them.

    3. Cuddles Silver badge

      Re: Riiiiight

      Firstly, as already noted, the old fashioned way involved significantly more deaths than is usually considered acceptable these days. Secondly, people in different times have skills and experience using different tools. There's nothing special about computers, they're just another tool. You wouldn't expect a modern construction worker to be easily able to fall back to using log rollers and a few hundred slaves if their digger breaks down. Neither should you expect people who have spent their entire career using a computerised communication system to be easily able to fall back to pen, paper and runners while remaining just as effective.

      1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

        Re: Neither should you expect people who have spent their entire career...

        Do you ever travel on an aeroplane?

        1. Jon 37

          Re: Neither should you expect people who have spent their entire career...

          Aircraft pilots are one of the few professions that actually learn, train and regularly practice a wide range of emergency scenarios. And are actually given resources (a copilot, redundant systems) by the beancounters so they can cope in many different emergencies. And even then they sometimes get it wrong.

          If you want a hospital to cope in a "no computers" scenario, then everyone has to train and practice for that scenario. And the beancounters have to have enough staff available. E.g. a nurse who's doing routine checks on a patient can still respond to an automated alarm on another patient. But without the automated alarms, you may need enough nurses to assign one to each patient that is in a private room, and one for each area of the ward, so they can monitor the patients, as well as having other nurses for the routine stuff. There simply won't be enough nurses on duty for that.

          1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

            Re: If you want a hospital to cope in a "no computers" scenario...

            Thank you for the insight.

            The answer to that question, in my view, is a definite "yes, we do". The NHS budget would therefore need to include such a scenario within its funding requirements. The extra staff would certainly not be wasted in normal circumstances where computers are doing their job. The knock-on effect of having more suitably trained people within the community at large would arguably have benefit, giving greater peace of mind to that community too.

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