Ransomware takes Californian hospital offline

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17 February 2016 | 0

The computers at Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center have been down for more than a week as the Southern California hospital works to recover from a ransomware attack.

According to officials HPMC, they’re cooperating fully with the LAPD and FBI, as law enforcement attempts to discover the identity of the attackers. However, in the meantime the network is offline and staff are struggling to deal with the loss of email and access to some patient data.

The hospital’s President and CEO, Allen Stefanek, said the situation was declared an internal emergency, telling NBC LA that the hospital’s emergency room systems have been sporadically impacted by the malware.

Some patients were transported to other hospitals due to the incident. In other parts of the hospital, computers essential for various functions, including CT scans, documentation, lab work, and pharmacy needs are offline.

The hospital’s network has been down for at least a week, forcing staff to rely on fax machines and telephones to get work done.

Registrations and medical records are being logged on paper and staff have been told to leave their systems offline until told otherwise.

Stefanek said the attack was random, but did not expand on any of the technical details. Sources who spoke to new channels NBC LA and Fox 11 in LA gave descriptions of the described the attack which match those of a typical ransomware infection.

The type of ransomware responsible for shutting down the hospital remains unknown, but one local computer consultant said the ransom being demanded was about 9,000 BTC, or just over $3.6 million (€3.2 million) dollars.



IDG News Service

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