Hospital’s Windows XP virus has spread into other facilities: Read the internal email


blog Remember that nasty Windows virus which recently took down the Royal Melbourne Hospital in Victoria? Remember when it spread principally because of the use of archaic Windows XP systems within the hospital? Yeah. Well, although things are ramping down, it appears that the virus has spread into other facilities within the Victorian health system. We present for your examination the following email, which went out on Friday to staff in the Western Health division of Victoria’s health department.

Sounds like there is still quite a bit of work to do in nailing this one down, and making sure this kind of situation never happens again.

From: whpublicaffairs []
Sent: Friday, 5 February 2016 10:59 AM
To: !WHS Everyone
Subject: Update on Computer Virus Infection

UPDATE ON COMPUTER VIRUS INCIDENT IMPACTING MELBOURNE HEALTH (with flow-on effects for Western Health and Northern Health)

Dear staff,

This is to provide you with a further update on the computer virus infection following on from information that was sent to Western Health staff on Monday 25 January 2016. There have been ongoing developments that we would like to keep you informed of.

Melbourne Health have made considerable progress on the computer virus containment and they believe that it is no longer propagating in a widespread manner. At Western Health, we have not seen an infection over the last few days, but it should be noted that the virus has not been completely eradicated within the shared network with Melbourne Health and Northern Health and there is still a potential risk.

The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) security experts has advised that we should still remain cautious when accessing websites like banking sites, online shopping, Gmail etc.

There are key points that staff need to be aware of as a precaution:

1. DO NOT use any Western Health computer for personal use on password protected websites

Until further notice, do not use any Western Health computer for personal use. It is vital that staff do not access any Western Health computer for personal password protected sites eg: online banking, online shopping, Gmail, Hotmail, myki, Smart Salary, itunes etc. This is to protect you and your personal information. If you have experienced any banking or related issues, please follow up with your bank. Please also advise Western Health IT so that these issues can be logged.

2. Change your password on all password protected external websites sites (from home or using your mobile phone. Please avoid using a work computer for now to do this)

It is important that if you use a work computer for online banking or shopping or if you use any other personal password protected site – change your passwords immediately. There have been NO incidences of staff accounts being illegally accessed. However, to ensure your details remain safe, it is important that you change these passwords. You can change your passwords on your home computer or via your mobile phone (ie. HTC, Samsung, iPhone). DO NOT do this on a Western Health computer.

3. Passwords for your work PC

At this stage you do not need to change your password on your work PC.

Please note, NorthWestern Mental Health staff and other staff who are using a Melbourne Health computer should contact Melbourne Health IT for any instructions regarding the virus outbreak or for any issues.

Thank you for your patience and understanding during this time. We will provide updates should any additional information come to hand.

If you have a question or issue, please email or call 9342 8888. There will be delays with non-critical work while this issue is being resolved.

Russell Harrison
Executive Director Operations


  1. Ummm. Security 101.a.1: Work computers are not under any circumstances to be used for personal purposes. NO EXCEPTIONS. Persons using work computers for personal purposes will be terminated.

    Seriously, THIS IS NOT YOUR COMPUTER, slave! We will give you unpaid time off during the day if you feel you need a micro-holiday to do your shopping and social chit-chat. But you DON’T DO IT FROM THIS COMPUTER!

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