Monday October 5th, 2020

Over the course of the pandemic, hospitals and other medical facilities face unprecedented times. From strict mask and safety gear procedures to contact COVID-19 positive patients.

Overall, hospitals have enough on their plates right now. But, also as a result of the pandemic, ransomware attacks on the medical industry are at an all time high. 

Attackers are taking advantage of these chaotic times to attack and extort medical practices. 

 

The Ransomware Attack

Today, CPG is covering the topic of the risk hospitals and other medical facilities currently face. As mentioned above, ransomware attacks on hospitals are occurring all over the world.

Hospitals who are not properly preparing for such attacks face attackers breaching, encrypting and stealing patient and other hospital information. 

Further, the ransomware attacks put current and past patients at risk as well as hospital staff and related services at risk. 

Continuing, medical information is a hot commodity on the dark web. Hospitals and their networks tend to store some of a patient’s most personal information. From medical records like medications and health statistics to payment information and social security numbers.

All of this information is valuable to the hackers who are plaguing medical facilities with ransomware. 

 

The Latest Attack on Hospitals

Continuing on, as if ransomware shutting down networks and encrypting data isn’t enough, some attacks are taking it a step further.

Recently, one of the largest hospital chains in the US, Universal Health Services (UHS), faced a cyber attack that actually disrupted patient care severely. 

UHS reported the attack this past Sunday, as staff in the emergency department of one of their hospitals noticed the systems malfunctioning. 

Further, various systems and technical functionality of the hospital went down, making it difficult for hospital staff to provide care for the patients. 

Nurses and hospital staff decided to take it “old school” in order to deliver proper patient care. Other methods of reporting were needed to execute charting and monitor medications of patients. 

 

Hospitals and the Road to Recovery

All in all, the hospital has yet to make a statement directly pointing at the type of cyber attack. But, most researchers draw the conclusion that the attack is ransomware.

After the initial attack, the hospital took action to bring the systems backup and restore technical services to their staff. 

The hospital claims to be using “established back-up processes” to make it through the attack and recover their systems.

 

By Taylor Ritchey

 

Firstly/secondly, further, and, moreover, in addition