Multiple US hospitals and medical websites down following a massive cyberattack
The FBI is currently investigating a ransomware attack that has caused disruptions in emergency rooms and medical facilities across several states. The attack which affected hospitals owned by Prospect Medical Holdings in California and other states, led to the diversion of ambulances and forced the healthcare provider to take its systems offline to protect them.
As a result, Prospect Medical Holdings has launched an investigation in collaboration with cybersecurity experts to assess the extent of the breach and mitigate the damage.
Crozer-Chester Medical System (CCMS) in Springfield, Pennsylvania, also fell victim to a ransomware attack, leaving most of its computers offline. CCMS has reverted to paper records while they work to restore their systems, which they expect to be back online by next week.
Eastern Connecticut Health Network (ECHN) experienced a similar attack, closing various facilities like diagnostics labs, elective surgery centres, and network sections dedicated to different medical services. The network has been communicating with patients to provide updates and assistance during this challenging time.
The FBI, along with other law enforcement agencies, is actively involved in addressing the situation and supporting the affected healthcare entities. They encourage anyone impacted by these cyberattacks to report the incidents either to ic3.gov or their local FBI field office.
Hospital cyberattacks have become an ongoing cybersecurity concern in the United States. Incidents like this hinder critical healthcare services, which potentially leads to delayed care and adverse outcomes for patients. Hospitals are often targeted because they are more likely to pay ransoms, which serves as an incentive for cybercriminals to continue attacking these institutions.
In response to the mounting cybersecurity incidents, the US Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has initiated its FY2024-2026 Cybersecurity Plan. The plan aims to tackle cyber threats by disrupting attack campaigns, strengthening systems against potential breaches, and promoting secure-by-default products and transparent security practices among tech companies. The ultimate goal is to change the trajectory of national security risk and proactively combat cybercriminal activities.
As the healthcare industry remains a prime target for cyberattacks, organisations and authorities must collaborate closely and take proactive measures to safeguard patient data and maintain essential healthcare services. Timely reporting of cyber threats can significantly aid in mitigating the impact of such attacks and strengthening the overall cybersecurity landscape.