News and Notices

​Information on cyber-hacking incident affecting lower North Island primary health organisations

District health boards have been made aware of an unauthorised intrusion to the digital information systems of Tū Ora Compass Health in August 2019.

Compass Health is a primary health organisation (PHO) that provides a wide range of primary care services through 60 general practice teams and a number of other healthcare providers throughout the Wellington, Porirua, Kapiti and Wairarapa regions.

Nelson Marlborough Health information systems are not affected.

A careful investigation has not yet been able to determine with any certainty whether the unauthorised access resulted in any information being taken.

None of the PHOs hold private information kept by GPs as part of the notes they take when a patient consults their doctor.

Tū Ora has implemented new security controls and is continuing to analyse information related to the incident to help inform the response.

Additional monitoring and cyber stress testing of leading health sector agencies’ computer security is being undertaken – including at Nelson Marlborough Health. The Ministry of Health is working with sector agencies to strengthen defenses following the testing.

The Ministry of Health and the Government Communications and Security Bureau believe the testing now underway will identify areas where further remedial action can be taken regarding any other health agencies that may require strengthened security measures.

Agencies across the public sector are experiencing an increasing number of cyber-attacks, including regular phishing scams along with more serious attacks like that experienced by Tū Ora. Capital & Coast, Hutt Valley and Wairarapa DHBs are working with Tū Ora to improve their cyber security measures.

Nelson Marlborough Health is continually reviewing and strengthening the protocols and security measures to ensure its own systems are safe, however this incident has highlighted the ongoing threat very real of criminal cyber activity.

What to do if you are concerned? 

Anyone concerned about these incidents can contact 0800 499 500 or +64 6 927 6930 (internationally).

Where can I access more information?

Both the Ministry of Health and Tū Ora Compass have information on their websites, including Q&As.

Ministry of Health press release and Q&AS

Tū Ora Compass press release