ransomware

LA Hospital Servers Shut Down By Ransomware

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Gillmor Gang LIVE 02.17.16

In what should be the best recommendation for backups ever in the history of computing a Los Angeles hospital has been struck by ransomware and cannot access patient records, x-rays, and other important data. Hackers are using the ransomware, which encrypts all the files on a network, to hold all of the hospital data hostage and they are asking for about $3.6 million in bitcoin to release the data.

The Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center is currently unable to manage patients according to a report by a local Fox affiliate. The hospital president and CEO Allen Stefanek said that the attack was random and that staff is currently making notes and writing down records by hand.

Ransomware is, in short, one of the easiest hacks to avoid. A solid backup, even one made a few days before the ransom software is run, is one way to prevent things like this before they start. However, it’s clear that security tactics at Hollywood Presbyterian weren’t quite up to snuff if the problem is still happening.

Given the importance of medical data, however, here’s hoping the hospital has a way to decrypt or save the data before the arbitrary and malicious malware blows up. Because ransomware usually hits smaller machines, this catch is probably quite exciting for the hackers and akin to putting out a line for a few carp and instead catching a whale.

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