Ransomware Cripples Hollywood Hospital, FBI Investigating

Security / Tech

Ransomware on your personal computer can be a huge pain in the butt to deal with, often times the only solution is to nuke the infected drive and start fresh. Now imagine an entire hospital and its computer systems being held for ransom. That’s what’s happening to Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center who have fallen victim to a massive ransomware attack. The attackers are demanding $3.6m in bitcoins and they will release the codes to release the hospital’s computer systems. There is no evidence that patient information or other personal data has been lost and it seems the motives here are purely financial.


In the meantime hospital staff have taken to recording patient information and other vital data with pen and paper but the damage this is causing runs deep. Vital machines used for life support and other medical conditions and needs cannot be used as the systems they need to run have been rendered inoperable. The hospital has been forced to transfer some patients that are need of such care to other hospitals.

Staff at the Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center noticed “significant IT issues and declared an internal emergency” Feb. 5, said hospital president and CEO Allen Stefanek.

This incident raises the question of just how good is our security especially in vital areas such as hospitals, airports and government agencies both federal and local. This hospital has been unable to access its systems for a week now, the FBI and LAPD are investigating the situation and we hope they’re able to get things back on track. In the meantime, Hollywood Presbyterian should have a team working on new security parameters to secure their systems better. There’s no word on how the ransomware was injected into the system in the first place.

What do you think of this attack on Hollywood Presbyterian? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter, Facebook and Twitter.

  Source: NBC LA
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