Hackers are holding a California hospital’s network hostage for $3.6 million


The computers at a Los Angeles hospital have been down for more than a week after ransomware ended up on its internal network. Patients at Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center have been transferred to other hospitals because of the outage, and connected medical devices and portals are offline, as well. The attackers have reportedly asked for more than $3.6 million to decrypt the system and the hospital’s files, CSO reports. Staff are now having to turn to fax machines and landline telephones to get work done, and medical records are being kept on paper.

The hospital didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment and hasn’t elaborated on how far the attack has spread, what kind of ransomware infected its network, or how it was even infected in the first place. According to CSO, the incident was random, likely meaning a hospital staffer clicked a malicious link or attachment that ultimately spread the malware throughout the network.

attackers have reportedly asked for more than $3.6 million to decrypt the system

This is one of the most outlandish digital ransom requests in recent memory, but not the first to impact an integral institution. Public schools and police departments around the world have been infected with ransomware over the past few years, which culminated in one FBI official advising victims to just pay up. Now, however, it seems law enforcement is teaming up with international agencies to identify and bring down scam operators. In this most recent incident, the hospital is working with the Los Angeles Police Department and FBI to identify the attackers and release the systems from their grasp.

Ashley Carman

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