4 Hospitals that Closed After Ransomware Attacks

October 12, 2020 by Christen Aldrich

Filed under For Employers, For the Workforce

Last modified October 13, 2020

According to this article from Becker’s Hospital Review, four hospitals have closed recently due to cyberattacks. Wood Ranch Medical clinic in Simi Valley, California closed December 17, 2019, after losing all its patients’ medical records to a ransomware attack earlier that year. The ransomware attack encrypted patients’ health records and the clinic’s backup hard drives, which Wood Ranch Medical said it was unable to restore. 

In addition to this hospital, Battle Creek, Michigan-based Brookside ENT and Hearing Center also chose to permanently close after an April 2019 ransomware attack. When hackers infected the medical center’s records system with ransomware, they demanded a $6,500 ransom from the clinic’s co-founders so they could buy back access to the medical files. The clinic chose not to pay the ransom, and hackers erased all the system’s files, including patient records and appointment schedules. The practice closed April 30, 2019.

While some hospitals and clinics may shut down permanently due to a cyberattack, others might take temporary measures such as halting patient admissions or canceling appointments. In September 2019, Campbell County Health suspended new inpatient admissions and canceled some surgeries for at least two days due to a ransomware attack. The Gillette, Wyoming-based health system closed services including endocrinology, cancer, cardiac rehab, and radiology. 

On Oct. 1, 2019, all three Tuscaloosa, Alabama-based DCH Health System hospitals temporarily closed to new patients as the result of a ransomware attack. Patients were diverted to alternative hospitals for 10 days until the health system could restore its computer systems and lift the diversion protocol. 

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