SoCal Hospital Being Held Ransom by Hackers

A Southern California hospital is being held ransom by cyberattackers, reported NBC Los Angeles.

Allen Stefanek, President and CEO of Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center, said that hospital staff started to notice “significant IT issues and declared an internal emergency” on Friday. Stefanek said the cyberattack has been interfering with the hospital’s operations, including sporadic effects on the emergency room.

An unidentified doctor cited by NBC Los Angeles said that the hospital’s computer system was attacked and being held for ransom. The doctor said that departments have been communicating by jammed fax lines as they have no email, and that the medical office staff has not had access to email.

There has not yet been any cause to believe that any patient or employee information has been compromised, though investigation is underway by the Los Angeles Police Department, the FBI, and computer forensics experts called in by the hospital.

The unnamed doctor said that some outpatients have missed treatments and have gone to other hospitals.

The doctor said that computers are vital for the documentation of patient care, transmittal of lab work, sharing of X-rays and CT scans. He also said that prior medical records for patients who were admitted previously and are now being readmitted, are inaccessible.