Scripps Health Recovering from Ransomware Attack

A cyberattack forced Scripps to take critical records offline, potentially impacting medical procedures and emergency response.

Scripps Health Recovering from Ransomware Attack

San Diego, California — After being hit by a cransomware attack on May 1, healthcare provider Scripps Health is dealing with the aftereffects.

According to a May 7 report by NBC 7 San Diego, patients and staff have been unable to access records, email, and other information for several days. Due to the disruption to the IT systems, many medical procedures have been indefinitely postponed and some patients have been sent to other area hospitals, depending on the severity of the situation.

Scripps Health immediately informed the California Department of Public Health of the situation, which reported on May 8 that the five hospitals under the Scripps Health umbrella are “operational and caring for patients using appropriate emergency protocols in inpatient areas of the hospital.”

Dr. Christian Dameff from UC San Diego Health said in a May 5 report by The San Diego Union-Tribune that the facility has seen an influx of Scripps patients during the ordeal.

“We really are a giant ecosystem, and when one organization is attached, it can impact all of the others,” he said.

In the meantime, Scripps Health confirmed in a statement that it has hired an independent cybersecurity firm to determine the root of the problem, and that the investigation is ongoing and in the early stages. Attempts to contain the threat have forced the medical facility to take a significant portion of its data offline.

As of May 5, signs of progress were evident as one facility put its electronic telemetry systems back online. Patient medical records throughout Scripps, however, were still being written out in ink rather than typed into a computer.

As of Tuesday, patients were still struggling to get information on when appointments at Scripps will be back to normal, reports 10News.

No matter who are what caused the IT attack, once Scripps Health is running at full IT capacity, a considerable amount of clean up will need to take place. Inputting medical records and other information from scratch, in this case, is not a matter of hitting a reset button, according to Dameff. Getting everything relaced and reset will take some time.

“It all needs to be done carefully, because if you start a system back up and you haven’t closed all the doors and the hackers can still get in, they’ll just do the same thing again,” he said.

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