Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center taken offline by ransomware

A Ransomeware attack took Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center’s (HPMC) computer systems offline for more than a week, as the Southern California area hospital has been cooperating with the FBI and LAPD to determine the identity of the attackers.

Computer consultants pegged the ransom at 9,000 Bitcoins or $3.6M; but the President and CEO of HPMC, Allen Stefanek, stated the ransom was a much lower amount at 40 Bitcoins or around $17,000.

According to Stefanek, “the quickest and most efficient way to restore our systems and administrative functions was to pay the ransom and obtain the decryption key.”

The hospital staff struggled with the lack of email services and patient data access during the outage. The ordeal was “declared an internal emergency” according to Stefanak, as even the hospital’s emergency rooms had their systems affected by the Ransomware.

Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center was taken offline for more than a week by ransomware – dubbed as an internal emergency.

A number of patients had to be transferred to neighboring centers because of the malware incident. Other hospital systems affected by the malware included the pharmacy, CT scans, and laboratory and documentation services.

With the system offline for more than a week, staffers had to resort to using telephones and fax machines to finish up their tasks. The hospital staff also had to use pen and paper to register patients’ medical records while the computers were unusable.

Stefanek added that the malware attack was a random act; however, he did not share any other official details.

Local news outlets indicated that the attack matched the usual Ransomware infections, but the exact type of malware has not been identified.

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