Cyberattackers play no favorites

Wednesday, May 12, 2021
 | 
Chris Woodward (OneNewsNow.com)

cyber terrorismWhile the cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline continues to make national headlines, Americans are being reminded they ought to be concerned about similar attacks on hospitals and other healthcare providers as well.

One News Now spoke with Twila Brase, president and co-founder of Citizens' Council for Health Freedom, who points out that on May 1 the Scripps Health system – based in San Diego – suffered a major malware (ransomware) attack that harmed their systems.

"They were offline or unable to deal with patients the way that they typically deal with them," Brase explained. "It's not clear yet if there was an actual ransom required or if they managed to get around that …."

Cyberattacks on healthcare providers are not new. For example, in 2016 Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center paid $17,000 in bitcoin to a hacker that authorities say seized control of the hospital's computer systems. And in 2018, Greenfield, Indiana-based Hancock Health paid hackers $55,000 in an effort to have systems unlocked following an attack using ransomware.

Brase, Twila (CCHF)In another example, American Medical Collection Agency was hacked over eight months between 2018 and 2019. Data on millions of patients was compromised – enough to make it the biggest healthcare data breach of 2019.

"This is what happens when you put everything digital: you make yourself vulnerable," Brase warns.

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