A ransomware attack against a local health system that includes a series of care facilities has affected the 1,500 devices, disrupted service deliveries and forced the use of paper graphics instead of electronic health records, as reported by ethical hacking specialists. Besides, experts consider such incidents keep increasing all over the country.
The incident, which occurred at Campbell County Health Dept. in Wyoming, US, affected Legacy Living & Rehabilitation Center, which has a memory care wing, a general hospital, a medical group of more than 20 clinics, and a surgical center.
“Ransomware attacks increased 100% during this year; this has become the state’s biggest problem,” says Tim Walsh, an expert in ethical hacking in charge of the state’s Department of Technology.
Representatives of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have accumulated multiple reports of ransomware attacks against various organizations, both public and private. “In short, this malware denies access to a system or dataset, demanding that victims pay a ransom,” officials mention. Usually, the ransomware is spread using malicious or fraudulent emails as well as via infected websites.
The county health system detected the problems Friday morning, although operations were ongoing. By Saturday morning, however, multiple systems had already been suspended, forcing local authorities to move some patients to other facilities to ensure all their care.
According to the experts in ethical hacking of the county, until now radiology systems are the most affected, although unfortunately this is not the only faulty service. The total number of patients affected by this incident has not yet been revealed.
According to the experts of the International Institute of Cyber Security (IICS), the local health system already works with local and federal authorities. However, local government representatives note that there is not yet an estimated date for the total restoration of the systems. It has also emphasized that there is no evidence to confirm a theft of health system data.