U.S. — Your money or your life! Another hospital goes down to ransomware

Full Screen Terminal on OS X by Ian Brown

From the Register news item:

Another US hospital has had its records scrambled by ransomware trying to extort money from the sawbones. This time: it’s the Methodist Hospital in Kentucky that’s been infected.

“We’ve notified the FBI, we’re dealing with federal authorities on how to deal with it,” the hospital’s chief operating officer David Park told local station News Channel 10. “Depending upon the number of records that were locked, depends upon whether we’re going to consider looking into whether we pay anything or not.”

The hospital reported that patients’ files had been copied, encrypted, and then the originals deleted. The hospital says that its backups are up to date and accessible, so it’s keeping calm and carrying on.

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A stolen and authenticated credit card number is worth a few dollars online, he said, but full medical records that can be used for insurance fraud are much more valuable. Barlow cited a case where an IBM staffer had had to physically go to his insurer’s offices to prove there was no operation scar to get a refund on a $20,000 fraudulent bill…

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