Updated An anti-malware update from Sophos caused borked systems at University College London Hospitals (UCLH) on Thursday.
Sophos confirmed the problem in a brief statement, adding that it was working with the NHS Trust to get to the bottom of the issue.
Sophos can confirm that the Trust raised a support case yesterday regarding an issue they experienced. We worked quickly with them to resolve the issue and we continue to work with the customer on root cause analysis.
El Reg learnt of the incident from an anonymous tipster who got in touch late on Thursday to say: "UCLH NHS was wiped out by Sophos updates effectively bombarding every PC... it caused major havoc."
The security of NHS systems is becoming a growing cause of concern because of their continuing reliance on obsolete Windows XP systems, the rise of ransomware attacks in hospitals worldwide and other factors.
Nearly half (45 per cent) of NHS trusts scan for application vulnerabilities just once a year, with less only 8 per cent doing so on a daily basis. The figures comes from a series of Freedom of Information (FoI) requests to 36 hospital trusts by application security firm Veracode. It warns that failure to regularly check for problems leaves patient data at risk of cyberattacks through legacy websites and third-party plugins. ®
Updated on Monday 10.00 UTC to add: Sophos has been in touch to say: “Sophos can confirm that the Trust raised a support case yesterday regarding an issue they experienced during a planned software upgrade. We worked quickly with them to resolve the issue and we continue to work with the customer on root cause analysis. Our investigation into the case has confirmed this is not a false positive.”