Ransomware forces 3 hospitals to turn away all but the most critical patients

October 1, 2019

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Article author: Dan Goodin {authorlink}

Enlarge / Emergency rooms like this one at Fort Belvoir Community Hospital may need to transfer patients once they stabilize. (credit: health.mil)

Ten hospitals—three in Alabama and seven in Australia—have been hit with paralyzing ransomware attacks that are affecting their ability to take new patients, it was widely reported on Tuesday.

All three hospitals that make up the DCH Health System in Alabama were closed to new patients on Tuesday as officials there coped with an attack that paralyzed the health network’s computer system. The hospitals—DCH Regional Medical Center in Tuscaloosa, Northport Medical Center, and Fayette Medical Center—are turning away “all but the most critical new patients” at the time this post was going live. Local ambulances were being instructed to take patients to other hospitals when possible. Patients coming to DCH emergency rooms faced the possibility of being transferred to another hospital once they were stabilized.

“A criminal is limiting our ability to use our computer systems in exchange for an as-yet unknown payment,” DCH representatives wrote in a release. “Our hospitals have implemented our emergency procedures to ensure safe and efficient operations in the event technology dependent on computers is not available.”

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Article source: https://arstechnica.com/?p=1577895

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