Hackers Offer Deal to D.C. Hospital after Ransomware Attack

Published: March 31, 2016

Hackers offered a deal to a Washington, D.C. hospital that has been working around a paralyzed computer network following a ransomware attack that was discovered March 28.

Hackers gave MedStar Georgetown University Hospital a deal to restore their computers. Under the proposition, hospital officials could send 3 bitcoins ($1,250) to the hackers for the digital key to unlock one computer, or send 45 bitcoins (approximately $18,500) for the key to unlock the entire system, reports the Baltimore Sun.

A spokesperson for the hospital system said IT people have been “working around the clock” since they discovered the virus and the hospital was getting close to restoring the system. The hospital’s three main clinical information systems have been restored, allowing doctors to access medical records on a read-only basis.

RELATED: Ransomware Paralyzes Ky. Hospital’s Network for 5 Days

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“The disruption to our systems has not impacted our ability to provide quality care to our patients, and we regret any inconveniences to our patients and the extra challenges to our associates that the perpetrators of this attack have caused,” Health System Chief Medical Officer Dr. Stephen R.T. Evans said.

After discovering the infection, MedStar officials pulled its systems offline to stop it from spreading. Since then, some patients and their families have said they’ve witnessed disorder and confusion at the hospital and have called for more robust backup systems in the future.

The FBI is investigating the attack, as they have for previous ransomware attacks against hospitals.

Read Next: Report: 2016 ‘Year Ransomware Holds America Hostage’

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