CHA Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center (HPMC) brought its EMR system back online February 15 2016 after being subject to malware that temporarily locked access to certain systems and prevented the hospital from sharing communications electronically. According to a press release patient care has not been compromised during the incident.
"As a provider of critical services, we have to be prepared for a variety of events that could disrupt our everyday operations, from earthquakes to computer events like this one," said Allen Stefanek, CEO of HPMC. "Our alternate procedures were immediately implemented by our staff when the computer system went offline."
February 5th, staff noticed issues accessing the hospital's computer network. An immediate investigation determined the hospital center had been subjected to a malware attack. Law enforcement was immediately notified. Computer experts immediately began assisting us in determining the outside source of the issue and bringing our systems back online.
The cyber attackers demanded a ransom of 40 bitcoins – equivalent to approximately $17,000 – for the encryption key to unlock the system. The reports of the hospital paying 9000 bitcoins or $3.4 million are not accurate. "We were advised that paying the ransom in these situations is often the most timely way to restore the affected systems and administrative functions, which we did," Stefanek said.
Additional information regarding this cyber attack is posted at www.hollywoodpresbyterian.com.
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