Hospitals Need to Be Prepared for Ransomware Attacks

Share this content:
Hospitals Need to Be Prepared for Ransomware Attacks
Hospitals Need to Be Prepared for Ransomware Attacks

FRIDAY, May 12, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Hackers are increasingly targeting hospitals, using viruses to lock their computer systems and hold sensitive medical data and other files hostage, according to an observation piece published online May 11 in The BMJ.

The computer viruses that lock the files are called ransomware. These attacks prevent hospitals from accessing the data stored on their computers until they pay a ransom, explained Krishna Chinthapalli, M.B.B.S., a neurologist at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London. He said hospitals must be prepared for these events.

Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center in Los Angeles was the target of a ransomware attack in February 2016, according to Chinthapalli. The hospital initially denied rumors that its computer system was held for more than $3 million in ransom. But 10 days later the medical center paid $17,000 to regain access to its data, Chinthapalli said in a journal news release.

This was the first case in which a hospital admitted that it paid a ransom for its computer files, Chinthapalli said. Since then, other U.S. medical facilities have faced similar attacks, including hospitals in California, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, and Texas. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reported a four-fold increase in ransomware attacks from 2015 to 2016. Those attacks resulted in a total of $1 billion being paid to hackers, the FBI said, according to the article.

Abstract/Full Text

Share this content:

is free, fast, and customized just for you!

Already a member?

Sign In Now »


Sign up for myCME e-newsletters


Drug Lookup

Browse drugs by: BrandGenericDisease

Trending Activities

All Professions

More in Home

Zika Does Not Appear to Last in Semen As Long As Thought

Zika Does Not Appear to Last in Semen ...

More research is needed to better inform public health recommendations

Radioiodine Therapy for Thyroid Cancer Doesn't Up Stroke Risk

Radioiodine Therapy for Thyroid Cancer Doesn't Up Stroke ...

I-131 therapy group showed no significantly higher risk of ischemic or hemorrhagic stroke

Higher Odds of Infection With Reduced Kidney Function

Higher Odds of Infection With Reduced Kidney Function

Study finds excess community-acquired infections incidence in individuals with mild to severe CKD

is free, fast, and customized just for you!

Already a member?

Sign In Now »