Ransomware attacks claimed new victims this past week as reports emerged of two more hospitals forced to fight off malware that crippled their IT systems.
San Diego-based Alvarado Hospital Medical Center was hit by a “malware disruption” on March 31, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. A spokesperson for the 306-bed hospital confirmed the cyber attack, but declined to say which systems had been affected.
Alvarado was the third hospital owned by Prime Healthcare Services to be hit with malware in March; Chino Valley Medical Center and Desert Valley Hospital had also been affected by ransomware.
Alvarado Hospital said it had taken “extraordinary steps to protect and expeditiously find a resolution to this disruption,” according to a statement provided to the Union-Tribune, but no other details except to say patient and employee records had not been compromised.
“The hospital remains fully operational, and no patients have been turned away. All significant clinical systems needed for operations are fully functional,” said hospital spokesperson Laura Gilbert. “Our IT team took great efforts to protect and restore our systems and a ransom was never paid.”
Meanwhile, another hospital, King’s Daughters’ Health in southeast Indiana, said it proactively took all of its systems offline on Wednesday, after discovering that a single employee’s system had been infected with the Locky ransomware virus.
King’s Health officials have reportedly told a local radio station that patient data was secure and had not been compromised, and that it would restart its computer systems once it is safe to do so. In the meantime, King’s Health is not using its EHR system, but instead is using manual processes to continue operations.
Linda Darnell, the hospital’s senior director of IT, told the station that ongoing staff education about these evolving cyber threats had helped employees act quickly to contain the Locky malware once it was found.
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