Healthcare Organizations Under Attack
A string of hospitals in both the US and Australia have come under attack by hackers in recent weeks. Healthcare organizations targeted by ransomware attacks have effectively shut a number of them down. The Northport Medical center, Fayette Medical Center, and DCH Regional Medical Center in Alabama have only limited access to their computing systems.
Spokespeople From The Healthcare Organizations Put In Their Two-Cents
A spokesman for the hospitals had this to say about the attack:
"The three hospitals of the DCH Health System have experienced a ransomware attack. A criminal is limiting our ability to use our computer systems in exchange for an as-yet-unknown payment. We feel it is in the best interest of patient safety that DCH Regional Medical Center, Northport Medical Center and Fayette Medical center are closed to all but the most critical new patients. Our staff cares for the patients who are currently in the hospital, and we have no plans to transfer current patients. Unfortunately, the damage to the computer system was such that we are unable to recover the data stored there. With our backup system encrypted as well, we cannot rebuild our medical records."
In fact, the situation is hardly better in Australia, where a total of seven hospitals became victims.
A spokesman for the hospitals in Australia had this to say:
"The cyber incident, uncovered on Monday, has blocked access to several systems by the infiltration of ransomware, including financial management...Hospitals have isolated and disconnected a number of systems such as [the] internet to quarantine the infection."
Similarly, like the American hospitals, the infected Australian hospitals have lost access to their patient records, booking, and management systems. They have fallen back to keeping manual records to maintain some level of functionality.
The cyber incident was a severe and coordinated attack and is undoubtedly a harbinger of things to come. Lives are definitely at risk, and unfortunately, as the hackers refine their approach, their attacks are only going to get more devastating—dark times.