U.S. and Australian Hospitals Targeted by New Ransomware Attacks

The Australian Associated Press reported that hospitals in the Australian state of Victoria were hit with a ransomware attack on Monday afternoon. Apparently patient data was not accessed but records, booking and management systems went offline while the investigation is taking place. Taken from a Bleeping Computer news article :


“Several hospitals and health service providers from the U.S. and Australia were forced to completely close down or shut down some of their systems after being hit by ransomware attacks that affected and disrupted their IT systems.


The DCH Regional Medical Center, Northport Medical Center, and Fayette Medical Center from West Alabama’s Tuscaloosa, Northport, and Fayette, now have limited access to their computing systems according to a joint press release published today.


Also, as per a cyber health incident advisory published on the website of the Victorian Government, multiple hospitals and health services from south-west Victoria and Gippsland have lost access to several IT systems, had to shut down some servers, and went into manual operation mode in some cases.”


Alabama hospitals shutting down

“The three hospitals of the DCH Health System have experienced a ransomware attack. A criminal is limiting our ability to use our computer systems in exchange for an as-yet-unknown payment,” says a press release issued today.


The three Alabama hospitals say that emergency procedures have been put in place so that day to day operations shouldn’t be affected if the compromised computing systems will not be accessible.


“That said, we fell it is in the best interest of patient safety that DCH Regional Medical Center, Northport Medical Center and Fayette Medical Center are closed to all but the most critical new patients,” adds DCH Health System’s announcement.


“Our staff is caring for the patients who are currently in the hospital, and we have no plans to transfer current patients.”


In related news, following another ransomware attacks from early August, Californian medical practice Wood Ranch Medical announced on September 18 that it will be closing offices on December 17 because of the extensive loss of patient healthcare records.


“Unfortunately, the damage to our computer system was such that we are unable to recover the data stored there and, with our backup system encrypted as well, we cannot rebuild our medical records,” said Wood Ranch Medical at the time.”

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Keith Heilveil

In 1999 Advantage Industries was created to protect and promote our client’s success through the use of innovative technology. Our company is a full services technology firm that provides computer network support and solutions, managed services, cybersecurity, and custom application development for small and medium businesses in the Maryland, DC, and Virginia areas.

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