HomeBitcoin NewsLos Angeles Hospital Held for Ransom by Bitcoin Ransomware

Los Angeles Hospital Held for Ransom by Bitcoin Ransomware


The Bitcoin ransomware is back and this time, the cybercriminals have stooped to a new low by attacking the computers containing critical diagnostics and imaging data belonging to patients. According to reports, the latest ransomware attack was not targeted at banks, financial institutions or other multinational companies but a hospital.

Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Centre, a Los Angeles-based hospital has fallen victim to a cyber-attack which downloaded a malware into the hospital’s computer network infecting systems containing crucial data relevant to diagnosis and treatment of hundreds of patients. The affected computers are said to contain X-Ray scans, CT scans and crucial lab work of patients, all of which are now encrypted by the malware. Few sources have allegedly claimed that the criminals are holding the data hostage for a ransom of nothing less than 9000 BTC. At current market price, the value of 9000 bitcoin stands at over 3 and a half a million dollars in fiat currency.

The attack on hospital’s IT infrastructure may be the first of the kind ransomware attack tot target a hospital and demand a huge sum of money. All the previous attacks were focused on either individuals or companies. Now, this attack has rendered most of the files unusable as they were all encrypted by the ransomware. Like most of the ransomware attacks, the decryption key is held by the cybercriminal who would hand it over to the hospital only after receiving the payment.

The hospital is said to be currently working with the Los Angeles Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation involved in the investigation. Meanwhile, limited access to electronic patient data and diagnostics information has hampered everyday operations of the hospital. there is no information available at the moment about the kind of malware used to encrypt the hospital’s systems and whether there is any possibility of recovering the data or not.


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