Hackers paralyse Latvia's health system

Latvia's e-healthcare system has been hit by a cyberattack. Its online platform for medical prescriptions was left paralysed on Tuesday after it was flooded with thousands of requests per second from more than 20 different countries, the country's ministry of health announced. Latvian commentators are scathingly critical of the way the authorities responded to the attack.

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Ir (LV) /

The cock-up of the century

Renārs Putniņš, a neurosurgeon, vents his fury about the case in the weekly paper Ir:

“With the 14.5 million euros that were invested, the online healthcare system could have become Latvia's best online portal. Instead we have a product that has to be restarted every time the sun goes up in China and people start mining for bitcoins. ... Where is the problem? We should finally start calling a spade a spade: greed, corruption, incompetence and sloppiness. Perhaps we should finally look into why the online healthcare system has failed and who is to blame, so that this kind of thing doesn't happen again. ... And the main thing is that the culprits pay the money back from their own pockets. A salesman also has to give the money back when he sells goods of poor quality.”

Diena (LV) /

Those responsible burying their head in the sand

Diena criticises the way the authorities have responded to the cyberattack:

“The Ministry of Health should have a plan in place for reacting to cyberattacks and informing the public. Particularly if there is a risk that sensitive data about individuals could be stolen from the website, or if compromising health-related information contained in the e-health system could be published. ... The typical excuse in such cases that this hasn't been confirmed yet isn't enough. The authorities shouldn't drag out the whole thing by saying they're still investigating. A direct reaction is needed to avoid damage to people's reputations.”