Analecta Cyber Company Blog: Desert Valley Hospital hit with ransomware attack

2016-04-26

Desert Valley Hospital hit with ransomware attack

Towards the end of the first quarter of 2016, Desert Valley Hospital in Victorville became the latest addition to the list of victims of hacking software. Hospital officials immediately pointed out that no patient or employee information had been compromised.

According to Desert Valley Hospital's spokesman, malware was discovered on their computer network and was directly reported to authorities. He added that the malware disrupted the hospital’s servers. Fortunately, the malware disturbance was properly addressed in time and was already controlled to prevent infecting other computers in their network.
Having an expert, in-house IT team helped the hospital on the instantaneous detection of the malware. They were able to implement the hospital's security protocols in mitigating and containing the virus in the compromised computer. In effect, Desert Valley Hospital remained operational and patient's safety was maintained. The facility cited that no patient or employee's sensitive information was compromised.

The spokesperson confirmed that the malware attack is another form of ransomware intended to lock and encrypt hospital data followed by a ransom demand. In this case, their own IT team was able to resolve the issue and bring the system back online without paying the ransom.

Quick response

The initial response not only contained the malware but also allowed the majority of hospital operations to carry on while measures were taken to completely restore the system.

As other hospitals were targeted by the same approach, the issue has become a trend that people working in the medical sector need to be aware of. The fact that everyone might be a target, hospitals across the country should exert effort in finding necessary steps to protect patient's data and prevent the attack from actually happening.

The hospital already reached out to FBI with regards to the incident. They are currently investigating the attack but no suspects have been found. The Department of Public Health was also lending a hand in the investigation in collaboration with other IT experts.