Hollywood hospital attacked by hackers and held to ransom

 

Hospital

Computers of the Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center were offline for more than a week due to a ransomware attack. According to local news, hackers demanded $ 3.4 to provide the codes. These codes would be then used to unlock the locked data.

What is a Ransomware?

Ransomware is a malware. Then what is a malware? Malware can be anything from harmful software, a virus, Trojan horse .etc. Online security is one of the major concerns today. Not only people like you and me, but also the government is worried about Internet security. The reason is the increase in the level of Internet security breaches and data theft.

The Concerns

The Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center confirmed that an attack took place but did not comment on ransom. Main concerns were regarding medical records of the patients. A voicemail message at the hospital reassured patients that their medical records were not accessed by hackers and was safe.

Further investigations regarding the unexpected attack are being conducted. The hospital officials said that the investigation appears to be random rather than targeted at the facility. An investigation is being carried out by the FBI, Los Angeles Police and computer forensics experts who are hired by the hospital.

The Impact

The hospital insists that day to day operations were not impacted. Most of the tasks were normally being carried out but now are being carried out on paper with much frustration to the staff. Patients were also requested to travel and pick up their medical test results personally rather than receiving it electronically.

Ransomware attacks are common these days and are a major concern. The impact of ransomware attack is more when it comes to organisations or public utility centres. If the same attack occurs in some company, then it will only affect them but here, everyone is being affected, especially people who are already with some medical concern.

Prevention

In this case, malicious software must have been placed on any computer. This could have been done via phishing attacks. This further would have proceeded for locking files. Ransomware usually tries to extort money from the user as quickly as possible. The warning is very simple, pay money or else your files will be deleted.

One of the most common types of ransomware is Cryptolocker which has affected thousands of computers globally. Recently, the English County of Lincolnshire was hit by a ransomware attack which demanded some extortion money. But they said that they refused to pay it.

Conclusion

Safety is the first priority, whether it is the physical safety or virtual safety. People are becoming victims of Identity theft in huge amounts today, this should be stopped. One should always try and avoid sharing of personal data on the Internet. Security measures like good antivirus software should also be used to avoid ransomware’s.

Such attacks will be more common if proper care is not taken. People should be aware of such situations and how to deal with these. Proper backup and security of online critical data should be maintained. This is the best we can do about such issues.

Leave a Reply