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Virus Attack Disrupts NSW Ambulance Dispatch Operation

On February 12, 2011, 13:00 hours, the system of New South Wales's (Australia) Ambulance service encountered one virus attack. Consequently, clinic personnel were forced to rely on manual arrangement of paper-based operations for coordinating ambulances and paramedics.

The infection that the virus caused proliferated fast, apparently making the staff switch off the entire network and keep it so for more than a day. Meanwhile, the problem in the Australian province has turned out so utterly hazardous that an investigation is on at the initiation of the NSW government to probe the way the infection happened as also the measures required for stopping it from reoccurring.

Said Jillian Skinner, spokeswoman for opposition health, any glitch was capable of potentially killing humans. The dispatch system through computers had wholly failed owing to which ambulances couldn't work, occasionally for extremely ailing patients, she explained. Smh.com.au published this on February 14, 2011.

Stated Media Manager of Ambulance service John Wilson, there was no back-up computerized system for dispatching ambulances; however, there was a staff which was very skilled at performing manual operations. AustralianIT published this on February 15, 2011.

Meanwhile, General Manager of Operations for NSW Ambulance Mike Willis pointed out to a vital aspect viz., since the unfortunate development when systems were being shutdown, there wasn't any moment when phone-calls dialing triple-zero alternatively the NSW ambulance service's operational integrity disturbed. Infosecurity.com published this on February 14, 2011.

Willis, over Fairfax Radio Network, stated that the aftermath of the incident was regrettable and that much time had gone in returning to online operations. Smh.com reported this.

Fortunately, on February 14, 2011, all the 4 centers controlling ambulance service from Dubbo, Sydney, Warilla and Charlestown returned to normal online operations, having been offline for over 36 hours since the virus hit.

Furthermore, the paramedic operations hadn't stopped functioning despite no computerized system, and every phone call seeking assistance was responded to. Nonetheless, this is one more instance of the way PC-viruses can bring down critical systems of a nation from working, as also an alert that top priority should be assigned to all publicly-important computers vis-à-vis their security.

Related article: Virus Infects Through USB Drives

» SPAMfighter News - 2/21/2011

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