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Hospital pays nearly $17G in Ransomware

HackerFrom Fox:

A Los Angeles hospital paid a ransom of nearly $17,000 in bitcoins to hackers who infiltrated and disabled its computer network because paying was in the best interest of the hospital and most efficient way to solve the problem,

Source: Hospital pays nearly $17G in bitcoins to hackers who disabled computer network | Fox News

Ransomware is a growing problem and dentists are being targeted. The hospital may have more problems coming soon. The article does not say this but there is a good chance OCR will view this as a data breach and punish the hospital for a HIPAA violation. Just because they have paid does not ensure the data will be safe. Cases have been reported where the Hackers release the data only to lock it up again a short time later.

If you are not aware of the term Rasomware, here is the Wikipedia definition:

Ransomware is a type of malware that restricts access to the infected computer system in some way, and demands that the user pay a ransom to the malware operators to remove the restriction. Some forms of ransomware systematically encrypt files on the system’s hard drive, which become difficult or impossible to decrypt without paying the ransom for the encryption key, while some may simply lock the system and display messages intended to coax the user into paying. Ransomware typically propagates as a trojan, whose payload is disguised as a seemingly legitimate file.

Source: Ransomware – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ransomware victims are often small businesses with limited understanding of computer systems and little or no security in place. This was a perfect description of most dental offices prior to HIPAA. Now most dental offices are aware of security threats and are taking active measures to protect themselves and their patients.

Like all malware there is no foolproof method that can guarantee you will never be a victim. However there are two basic precautions that  will help.

  • Use high level enterprise level malware protection that is maintained by an IT pro and updated on a daily basis.
  • Have multiple off site back ups that are not connected directly to the computer. For example if you plug a USB stick into the computer as a backup the Ransomware will lock that up as well.

2 replies on “Hospital pays nearly $17G in Ransomware”

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