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UNC Health remains under a high alert from Federal officials about potential cyberattacks targeting healthcare systems. Everyone at UNC Health and UNC School of Medicine should read and heed the guidance from UNC Health ISD and UNC School of Medicine IT.

UNC Health remains under a high alert from Federal officials about potential cyberattacks targeting healthcare systems. Multiple hospital systems across the nation have experienced significant attacks and associated disruptions to clinical and business operations. To protect us from a potential cyberattack, UNC Health’s ISD team has taken multiple steps, including blocking access on our network to commercial email systems (Gmail, Yahoo!, Hotmail, etc.) and commercial file sharing applications (Google Docs/Drive, Dropbox, Box, etc.).

We recognize that there may be downstream impacts, but these steps are necessary to ensure information security and protect our network and clinical/business operations. We need everyone to:

Diligently review all email from external (non-UNC Health/UNC School of Medicine) addresses for suspicious characteristics (strange addresses, requests for personal information or payment, etc.).

Do not attempt to create workarounds to access commercial email or file sharing sites from UNC Health PCs or on the wireless network (Skynet). These sites are blocked because they are known for being vulnerable ways of infection during this immediate threat.

ISD is working rapidly with the School of Medicine IT team to identify a secure solution for non-patient related file sharing between UNC Health and the School of Medicine and for file sharing with external entities. For internal file sharing, please continue to use email and SharePoint resources per normal operations.

School of Medicine faculty and staff should not use Google Docs, Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, etc. for patient care or patient intervention activities. This is not related to the immediate security threat but rather to the significant HIPAA risk such sharing creates. The School of Medicine is on a lower level of alert, since Universities have not been the target of the recent malware events, and the routine use of School of Medicine and University file sharing tools are not impacted by these UNC Health security measures (e.g. for research, educational, and administrative activities).

If you are experiencing critical impact to your clinical or business operations, please call the appropriate IT Service Desk:

For School of Medicine email, applications, or other academic/research needs, please call the School of Medicine IT Service Desk at 919-962-4357 (HELP)

For UNC Health and all patient care operations related issues, please call the ISD Service Desk at 984-974-4357 (HELP)