Earlier this week, we reported that a Los Angeles based hospital is under attack by hackers who had infected the systems with ransomware. These unknown hackers had demanded a ransom in bitcoins from the hospital in exchange for the decryption key which can restore access to the encrypted files. The Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital has decided to pay the ransom and according to reports, the hospital authorities have already paid about 40 bitcoins – which is close to $ 17,000 to the hackers.
The hospital seems to have taken this extreme step to prevent any further disruption of services in the hospital. The ransomware had affected systems containing patient x-rays images, diagnostic test details, results and even basic patient information. Without access to this information, the hospital was forced to rely on alternative means of accessing and storing information until the systems returned to normalcy.
It was initially reported that the attackers behind the bitcoin ransomware were demanding close to 9000 bitcoins, which is a really huge amount of money. However, it was made clear that the ransom demanded was 40 bitcoins and not 9000 bitcoins as somebody announced. The hospital was working closely with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation by co-operating with them in the investigation.
From the reports currently available, law enforcement authorities are still in the process of identifying the suspects behind the hospital ransomware attack. As investigation continued, the hospital decided to get its operations back online as soon as possible by paying the ransom
There have been numerous ransomware attacks across the internet for the past few months, but this is the first time a hospital has been targeted by the cybercriminals. With the decryption key, the hospital is now returning back to normalcy with all the functions being gradually restored.