Ransomware Infects Hollywood HealthCare Facility Computers – Attackers Demand $3.6M

Computers are an integral part of almost every field and industry nowadays and perhaps, no department can work well without them. Therefore, it is understandable that when the computer systems of a high-profile health care facility are compromised with such severity that it becomes difficult to restore operations, the hospital or medical center will find it hard to function.

It has been more than a week now that Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center’s (HPMC) computers have remained down due to a severe ransomware attack. The attackers have asked for $3.6million or 9,000 BTC in ransom and it seems that until it is paid, the systems will remain inaccessible.

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The hospital staff is trying its best to deal with the damages since they have lost access to some of the patients’ data and their email accounts. Computers responsible for conducting several key operations such as documentation, CT scans, pharmacy and lab work are currently down. The staff is left with few other options and so, they are relying on fax machines and telephones to keep the day-to-day operations of the hospital running.

The Southern California hospital officials state that they have been in contact with the FBI and the LAPD and collaborating with the departments completely in identifying the attackers. However, until that is done, the hospital’s computers are offline. The CEO and President of the Hospital, Allen Stefanek, declared the situation as “an internal emergency.” The medical records and registrations are being stored on paper and the faculty members have been informed to keep their computers offline until further orders.

While speaking to NBC LA, Stefanek stated that the computers of the hospital were affected by a malware that impacted the emergency room systems periodically. This attack has forced the hospital to undergo some urgent changes such as various patients have been transported to other health care facility.

Stefanek revealed that this was a randomly conducted attack and it didn’t affect any of the technical data but it can be confirmed that it is a typical Ransomware infection. But, the officials haven’t been able to discover what type of ransomware was used to take down the computers. Keep visiting this space for more information on this issue.

Should victim pay a ransom?

FBI told victims to pay ransom if they are under cyber attacks. The NSA-proof ProtonMail also paid ransom to the cyber criminals, but, even after the payment the attacks kept on coming. So for any institution paying ransom is not the way out as it just allows criminal groups to get stronger and show other groups a new way to earn money.

Uzair Amir

I am an Electronic Engineer, an Android Game Developer and a Tech writer. I am into music, snooker and my life motto is 'Do my best, so that I can't blame myself for anything.'