2 min read

Alleged Ransomware Attack Disrupts Medical Care at UHS Hospitals Across the US

Alina BÎZGĂ

September 29, 2020

Alleged Ransomware Attack Disrupts Medical Care at UHS Hospitals Across the US

Universal Health Services (UHS), one of the largest hospital chains in the US, was hit by an apparent cyberattack over the weekend that disrupted IT and phone systems at healthcare facilities in California, Florida, Texas, Arizona and Washington DC.

According to UHS employee reports, the attack occurred on Sunday morning, when various systems in the Emergency Department (ED) began shutting down.

“I was sitting at my computer charting when all of this started,” a UHS employee stated on Reddit. “It was surreal and definitely seemed to propagate over the network. All machines in my department are Dell Win10 boxes. When the attack happened multiple antivirus programs were disabled by the attack and hard drives just lit up with activity. After 1min or so of this the computers logged out and shutdown. When you try to power back on the computers they automatically just shutdown.”

UHS officials described the systems outage as an “IT security issue.”

“The IT Network across Universal Health Services (UHS) facilities is currently offline,” UHS said in a statement on Sept 28. “We implement extensive IT security protocols and are working diligently with our IT security partners to restore IT operations as quickly as possible.”

With IT systems down, nurses and physicians have a hard time delivering medical care and treatments to patients. Employees say staff is forced to work “old school,” using offline documentation methods for charting medication.

“In the meantime, our facilities are using their established back-up processes including offline documentation methods,” UHS added. “Patient care continues to be delivered safely and effectively. No patient or employee data appears to have been accessed, copied or misused.”

Although UHS has yet to confirm the type of malicious attack, the scenario suggests ransomware.

UHS’ systems outage reminds us of the ransomware attack on Düsseldorf University Hospital (UKD). What started as a network disruption forced the hospital to deregister as an emergency care facility and postpone patient appointments. The attack didn’t just inhibit proper medical care. A woman in need of urgent medical admission died after being taken to another city for treatment.

tags


Author



Right now

Top posts

E-mails claiming your computer was hacked and your privacy exposed - what you need to know (spoiler: you can relax - they’re bluffing)

E-mails claiming your computer was hacked and your privacy exposed - what you need to know (spoiler: you can relax - they’re bluffing)

July 29, 2021

5 min read
Watch Out for These Ongoing Bank of America Phishing Campaigns Targeting Customers in the US

Watch Out for These Ongoing Bank of America Phishing Campaigns Targeting Customers in the US

July 16, 2021

3 min read
How to protect yourself against cyberstalking

How to protect yourself against cyberstalking

July 06, 2021

2 min read
The Top Five Security Risks Smartphone Users Face Today

The Top Five Security Risks Smartphone Users Face Today

July 02, 2021

4 min read
Phishing Alert: Scammers Use Fake SharePoint and DocuSign Messages to Steal Users’ Login Credentials

Phishing Alert: Scammers Use Fake SharePoint and DocuSign Messages to Steal Users’ Login Credentials

July 02, 2021

3 min read
Your Doxxing Dossier Will Keep Growing Thicker Until You See the Danger

Your Doxxing Dossier Will Keep Growing Thicker Until You See the Danger

June 30, 2021

2 min read

FOLLOW US ON

SOCIAL MEDIA


You might also like

The Perils of Online Dating: Spotting Romance Scammers Before They Break Your Heart and Your Bank Account The Perils of Online Dating: Spotting Romance Scammers Before They Break Your Heart and Your Bank Account
Alina BÎZGĂ

August 05, 2021

3 min read
Google Fixes Five High-Severity Flaws in Chrome 92 for Windows, Mac and Linux Google Fixes Five High-Severity Flaws in Chrome 92 for Windows, Mac and Linux
Filip TRUȚĂ

August 05, 2021

1 min read
Google Drops All Support for Android 2.3.7 and Older Google Drops All Support for Android 2.3.7 and Older
Silviu STAHIE

August 04, 2021

1 min read