Hospitals and Ransomware

March 28th, 2016 by admin Leave a reply »

The Ottawa Hospital, Kentucky Methodist Hospital, Chino Valley Medical Center and Desert Valley Hospital was recently infected with ransomware.

As per Kentucky Methodist Hospital, “Methodist Hospital is currently working in an internal state of emergency due to a computer virus that has limited our use of electronic Web-based services. We are currently working to resolve this issue, until then we will have limited access to Web-based services and electronic communications.”

“It did cause significant disruptions of our IT systems,” Fred Ortega, spokesman for Prime Healthcare Services, which operates Chino Valley Medical Center and Desert Valley hospital, told BBC News. “However, most of the systems and the critical infrastructure has been brought back online.”

Locky ransomware was delivered by email and spread from the initial infected computer to others on the network. Jamie Reid, Kentucky Methodist’s information systems director mentioned in the statement.

“We have a pretty robust emergency response system that we developed quite a few years ago, and it struck us that as everyone’s talking about the computer problem at the hospital maybe we ought to just treat this like a tornado hit, because we essentially shut our system down and reopened on a computer-by-computer basis,” David Park, an attorney for Kentucky Methodist, told Krebs.

Attackers demanded four bitcoins (approximately $1,600) to decrypt the files.

Canada’s Ottawa Hospital was also infected. Around 9,800 computers were infected with ransomware. “The malware locked down the files and the hospital responded by wiping the drives,” hospital spokeswoman Kate Eggins told the National Post. “We are confident we have appropriate safeguards in place to protect patient information and continue to look for ways to increase security.”

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