The Western Cape Blood Service (WCBS) was hit by a cyberattack on Thursday morning, forcing the non-profit to resort to manual, offline processing while it restores its systems from backup.

WCBS spokeswoman Marike Gevers confirmed to TechCentral on Thursday that the organisation had fallen victim to a cyberattack but denied market speculation that it was a ransomware attack.

“We are operating, and putting measures in place,” Gevers said. “We are still restoring all our data, and the incident is being investigated by contracted experts.”

She denied that the attackers were trying to extort a ransom but said information security contractors have been brought in to probe the incident and to determine what happened.

“We have had to revert to a manual system and put other contingency measures in place for the donation, processing and testing of blood,” she added. The blood service’s systems are routinely backed up. Blood donations are continuing as normal despite the cyberattack.

Motive unknown

Gevers said the WBCS does not yet know the motive behind the attack. Investigators are probing what data might have been compromised and will provide updates to the media once more information is known.

She said the blood service complies fully with the Protection of Personal Information Act (Popia). She wasn’t immediately able to confirm whether the incident has been reported to the Information Regulator. — (c) 2021 NewsCentral Media

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