Latvia's e-health system hit by cyberattack from abroad

January 16, 2018
Digital prescriptions became compulsory on January 1, 2018 in Latvia

Latvia said its new e-health system was on Tuesday hit by a large-scale cyberattack that saw thousands of requests for medical prescriptions pour in per second from more than 20 countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the European Union.

No data was compromised, according to , who immediately took down the site, which was launched earlier this month to streamline the writing of prescriptions in the Baltic state.

"It is clear that it was a planned attack, a widespread attack—we might say a specialised one—as it emanated from computers located in various different countries, both inside the European Union and outside Europe," state secretary Aivars Lapins told reporters.

"We received thousands of requests in a very short space of time. That's not the normal way the system works," he said, adding that an investigation is under way.

The site was back up and running within a couple of hours but with reduced functionality, forcing Latvia to provisionally revert to the previous paper system that was kept as a backup after digital prescriptions became compulsory on January 1.

© 2018 AFP