Monday, March 28, 2016

Medstar Health suffers major hack, probably ransomware


The FBI is investigating a major cyber attack on Medstar Health Hospitals, a major hospital chain especially around Washington DC and Baltimore.  Most IT systems in these hospitals were shut down, and many users could not log in.  Apparently physicians had to keep track of prescriptions by hand.  It’s not clearly how this has affected patient care.  The Baltimore Sun has a story by Andrea K. McDaniels and Ian Duncan.

Although not completely confirmed yet, this appears to be a case of big time ransomeware.
 
Hospitals lag behind other kinds of businesses on tight IT security, even given changes from HIPAA.

The Washington Post has a detailed story March 29 by Matt Zapotosky and others, showing Washington's own Medstar Washington Hospital Center, near Catholic University, which is a major trauma center and also treats sports teams a lot. It is also a major general surgery center. The Post also links to a story about how the entire town of Plainfield, NJ fell to ransomware.

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