Ransomware hits two more California hospitals

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Two more California hospitals have been attacked through ransomware, reports the Los Angeles Times.

The computer systems of 126-bed Chino Valley Medical Center in Chino and 148-bed Desert Valley Hospital of Victorville, both part of Prime Healthcare Services, were infected with malware that encrypts data. The hackers then demanded ransom to unlock the information.

IT specialists were able to limit the attack, Prime Healthcare spokesman Fred Ortegatol told the Times, and the majority of hospital operations continued. Some computers and servers were shut down to limit the malware's spread, but managers are working to restore full functionality to the systems.

No ransom was paid and no patient or employee data was compromised, Ortega said, and the case has been added to an ongoing FBI investigation. 

Methodist Hospital in Henderson, Kentucky, also recently suffered a ransomware attack, but like the California hospitals was able to regain control of its computer systems and did not have to pay the ransom, according to a report from Healthcare IT News.

The healthcare industry in just the last couple months has seena dramatic spike in ransomware-based attacks, and a recent report from the Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology warned that ransomware will "wreak havoc" on many industries in 2016.

In February, Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center paid about $17,000 to hackers to release its data after an attack left staff working with paper and faxes for more than a week. The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services was attacked just days later.

Other victims to similar attacks include Mount Pleasant Texas-based Titus Regional Medical Center and Ottawa Hospital in Canada.

To learn more:
- read the article
- here's the Healthcare IT News article

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