Invited from Europe 1 while the Dax hospital suffers a cyberattack, Philippe Trouchaud, in charge of cybersecurity at one of the world's leading consulting firms, explains why hospitals have been increasingly victims of these misdeeds since the appearance of the coronavirus.


It is a phenomenon that is growing in France and around the world: cyber attacks against hospitals.

Since the appearance of the coronavirus, they have jumped "by 500%", confirms at the microphone of Europe 1 Philippe Trouchaud, in charge of cybersecurity at PWC, one of the main consulting firms in the world.

Latest example at Dax hospital: on the night of Monday to Tuesday, a large-scale attack encrypted the data in the hospital's computer system, paralyzing activity on site.

On Wednesday evening, some files were still very difficult to access, while teams from the National Information Systems Security Agency (ANSSI) were trying to help staff restore the situation. 

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Hospitals targeted because we "need them even more" 

An attack in the form of an echo to that suffered by the Rouen University Hospital in November 2019, which does not seem to surprise Philippe Trouchaud.

“Hospitals are certainly being targeted right now because they are in the spotlight. With the coronavirus, we need them even more. So cybercriminals think it's going to be easier in these circumstances to 'get money in exchange for the data. "

In this type of attack, hackers break into the victim's computer system and then encrypt their files to make them inoperative, demanding a ransom to unlock them.


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Use the pressure of public opinion

But data isn't the only way cybercriminals can maximize their chances of making money.

Public opinion also plays an important role, argues Philippe Trouchaud.

"In Germany, a patient in critical condition died in September 2020 while a cyberattack was underway against the Düsseldorf hospital. This kind of action therefore creates pressure on public opinion to better protect these establishments" , but above all to "pay the ransom".

And with the coming democratization of 5G, Philippe Trouchaud affirms "that there will be more cyberattacks" in the future, against private or public companies.

We must therefore raise awareness among the French so that they respect a certain IT hygiene, such as updating, in order to limit the risks.

This does not prevent the expert from advancing that "we will have to live with this delinquency".