Grays Harbor Community Hospital in Washington and NCH Florida hit by Ransomware

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Officials at the Grays Harbor Community Hospital in Washington have confirmed that their IT infrastructure was hit by a ransomware attack in June this year and data including patient health info was affected.

According to the latest update given by the Aberdeen based healthcare providers’ spokesperson Nancy Long, hackers were demanding a payment of $1 million to unlock patient files resulting in the access disruption to the database for a long time for the Harbor’s Medical Group and its Clinics.

Cybersecurity Insiders have learned that the malware attack took place when one of the employees unknowingly clicked on a malicious link sent through a phishing email almost 2 months ago.

As the ransomware was functioning with a highly encrypted algorithm, medical records, prescriptions, and other functions were still down.

Since the digital services are badly hit; the healthcare authorities have resorted to paper and manual work from the past few weeks. Surgeries, emergency care, and regular appointments have all felt the impact of the malware.

Gray Harbor issued a public statement on Wednesday this week that the digital infrastructure was covered with cyber insurance which has a $1 million cap.

FBI and the 85,000 patients of the hospital network were informed about the ransomware attack last week and officials are using the backup data to restore the locked up information.

Going forward, in another incident related to ransomware, hospital authorities at the Florida based NCH Healthcare System have confirmed that dozens of hospitals in their network fell prey to a file-encrypting malware attack on June 14th,2019.

Highly placed sources say that the hackers made their way into the payroll systems through a phishing email and then encrypted the entire digital network of NCH.

Note- Ransomware is a kind of malicious software which locks up data from access until a ransom usually in Bitcoins or Monero is paid to the hackers or the malware spreading gang.