Bonum Certa Men Certa

Patients at Middlesex University Hospital Punished for NHS-Microsoft Affairs



Summary: In a mission-critical arena which was made dependent on Windows there is a considerable downtime due to malware that hijacks the systems

SINCE the NHS has insisted on being stuck with Microsoft [1, 2, 3, 4, 5], yet another British hospital (there are many others) has just been taken offline, so to speak. How many people will die this time around, mostly as a result of Microsoft Windows being so defective? A few years ago I gave lectures on security at a local hospital. The staff there suffered from Windows viruses and associated data loss.



Here is the only report we could find about this latest major incident (these issues and the culprits tend to be discreet for obvious reasons):

Computer systems at the West Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust were infected by the worm last Friday, leaving hospital staff unable to book appointments via computer. The outbreak has been contained but some hospital IT systems remain unavailable, resulting in ongoing delays to patients and affecting the smooth running of the medical facility.

A hospital spokeswoman told El Reg that the malware infection, identified as the Conficker-A, struck on Friday afternoon. "Most of the computers had to be cleaned, so we've had to rely on a pen and paper system to book appointments. Technicians worked over the weekend to clean up systems. Priority systems are running but the clean-up is likely to last until the end of the week."

[...]

The hospital has 400 beds and employs 1,900 staff to serve the needs of 400,000 residents in the London boroughs of Hounslow and Richmond-upon-Thames.


Wonderful, right? We have written dozens of other posts that show hospitals becoming victims of Windows vulnerabilities. Some notable posts on the subject are:



In the spirit of iraqbodycount.org, should someone set up windowsbodycount.org and start counting hospitals whose operations are suspended due to Microsoft's shoddy software? This is not a technical issue as much as it is a political issue. As long as Microsoft controls the governments (in all sorts of ways which we won't discuss here today), inferior software solutions will sneak their way into places where they never belonged. LSE is another recent example from the UK [1, 2].

"Few relationships are as critical to the business enterprise itself as the relationship to government. The manager has responsibility for this relationship as part of his responsibility to the enterprise itself. To a large extent the relationship to government results from what businesses do or fail to do."

--Peter Drucker



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