Hospital Pays King's Ransom After Ransomware Attack

Hospital Pays King's Ransom After Ransomware Attack

By Chris Brunau

Imagine you come into work and you’re locked out of your critical files. You’ve fallen victim to ransomware, and the only solution is to pay the ransom. In some cases, that may be $500 dollars, not that bad, right?

Well, in other cases, the ransom can be much worse. That’s exactly what happened to Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center recently. According to original reports, hackers locked access to essential operations to their hospital such as CT scans, documentation, lab work and pharmacy needs, and demanded 9,000 Bitcoins, or just over $3.6 million. However, according to a release from Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center, those initial reports were incorrect, and the demand was 40 bitcoins, roughly $17,000. Regardless of the ransom, you can’t afford to be locked out of your critical files, causing significant downtime. Plus, even if you pay the ransom, there’s no guarantee your files won’t be locked again—because the ransomware still exists on your system.

This isn’t the first time the healthcare industry was hit with ransomware, and it certainly won’t be the last. In September 2015, ransomware shutdown a computer drive at a Florida hospital. The attack affected roughly 4,000 employees, but thanks to their backups, they were able to recover the majority of their files.

According to, the lack of cybersecurity in the healthcare industry makes it a vulnerable target. With the amount of critical and sensitive information, the healthcare industry may need a proper BCDR plan more than anyone.

Ransomware is anything but new. However, it is continuing to evolve and become a greater threat to all types of business data, regardless of industry. Recently, a new form of ransomware known as Locky has been spreading to about 90,000 infections a day, according to Forbes. By now, there’s no excuse not to have some form of protection in place to mitigate the risks and fallout of an attack of this nature.

While you may not be able to fully protect yourself from an attack, you can certainly take precautions to limit the damage or data loss. With a proper business continuity solution, you can restore critical business data to a point in time before any corruption occurred and avoid paying a hefty ransom.

As always, taking the proper precautions is the best way to protect yourself from any form of ransomware. In the event you’re attacked, the best way to avoid paying a ransom is to have a proper business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) solution featuring up-to-date backups. This will allow you to restore your data to a point in time before the infection, and retain your precious data. To learn more about all things ransomware, including the common types, how it is spread and how to prevent it, download our eBook: The Business Guide To Ransomware.

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