Moorfields Eye Hospital Dubai has started an “urgent” investigation after hackers targeted some of its servers in a recent cyber attack.
“‘Moorfields Dubai has recently been subject of an IT security incident on some of its servers by cyber criminals,” a hospital official told The National.
“We have been undertaking an urgent and thorough investigation to understand what happened.”
Some Dubai patients' identification information was accessed during the incident, but the hospital does not believe that patient health records have been compromised, the spokesman said.
“We take the privacy of our patients very seriously and we have contacted all affected patients to let them know about the incident,” he said.
The hospital said it is working with a leading cyber security specialist agency, which it did not name, and is taking proactive measures to “strengthen our network and website security".
Moorfields, which is based in the UK with international locations in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, provides a range of eye healthcare services.
DarkTracer, a darkweb criminal intelligence profiling investigation platform, on Sunday tweeted that Moorfields NHS UK and Dubai were the target of a cyber attack.
Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in London could not be reached for comment.
Corporate users were the target of 38 per cent of the 25,811 financial malware attacks recorded in the UAE during the first half of the year.
Hackers exploited remote working vulnerabilities amid the Covid-19 pandemic, cyber security company Kaspersky said in July.
While the number of financial malware attacks was down compared to the same period a year ago, the proportion of corporate users singled out by cyber criminals is on the rise, the Moscow-based company said
Victims in the UAE lose $746 million a year to cyber crime, according to UK technology comparison website Comparitech.
Victims of cyber crime worldwide lose $318 billion each year, the Comparitech study found.
About 71.1 million people in the world fall victim to cyber crime each year – which equates to nearly 900 victims per 100,000 people. The average victim’s loss is $4,476 per cyber crime, the Comparitech research showed.
Remote working and rapid digital transformation because of the Covid-19 pandemic resulted in an increase in cyber crime globally.
Cyber security threats and greater restrictions in global data flows are among the 10 top geopolitical risks in 2021, consultancy Eurasia Group said in its Top risks 2021 report.
As more people work remotely and stay online for longer due to coronavirus-related restrictions, there will be an increase in their exposure to cyber attacks, the consultancy said.