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MedStar Slowly Restoring Services After Malware Attack


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There have been many new ransomware attacks on medical records and hospitals. Here is the latest to be hit and what they had to do to recover.




"Portions of the hospital chain MedStar Health remain offline Wednesday as a result of a major malware attack that occurred Monday and crippled the hospital’s computer systems and forced one of the largest healthcare providers in Maryland and Washington, D.C. to turn patients away.


The healthcare provider said the attack forced it to shut down its three main clinical information systems, prevented staff from reviewing patient medical records, and barred patients from making medical appointments. In a statement issued Wednesday, it said that no patient data had been compromised and systems were slowly coming back online.


“Clinicians are now able to review medical records and submit orders via our electronic health records. Restoration of additional clinical systems continues with priority given to those related directly to patient care,” according to a statement released by MedStar.

While the hospital still won’t officially confirm the attacks were ransomware related, The Washington Post along with other news outlets are reporting that employees at the hospital received pop-up messages on their computer screens seeking payment of 45 Bitcoins ($19,000) in exchange for a digital key that would decrypt data.


The MedStar cyberattack is one of many hospitals in recent months targeted by hackers. Last week, Kentucky-based Methodist Hospital paid ransomware attackers to unlock its hospital system after crypto-ransomware brought the hospital’s operations to a grinding halt. Earlier this year Los Angeles-based Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center paid 40 Bitcoin ($17,000) to attackers that locked down access to the hospital’s electronic medical records system and other computer systems using crypto-ransomware."


The full article with all the links is here: https://threatpost.com/medstar-slowly-restoring-services-after-malware-attack/117079/


Why so many?


“Medical facilities don’t give security the same type of attention that other verticals do,” said Craig Williams, senior technical leader for Cisco Talos. “They are there to heal people and cure the sick. Their first priority is not to take care of an IT environment. As a result it’s likely the hackers have been out there for quite some time and realized that there are a lot (healthcare) sites that have a lot of base vulnerabilities.”"

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