Hospital Pays $17K Ransom in Bitcoin to Free PHI

Hospital Pays $17K Ransom in Bitcoin to Free PHI

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is looking into how a  hacker seized control of Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center’s computers, demanding a 40 bitcoin ransom before they’d be freed.

The Los Angeles Times  says in a copyrighted story that 40 bitcoin fee cost the hospital $17,000 before the malware preventing hospital staff from successfully using the computers was shut down by technology experts and LA police. The malware had locked systems and was demanding ransom to obtain the decryption key.  Staff were forced to keep records by paper and pen after the February 5 incident. All systems were back up Feb. 8.

The 434-bed hospital joins more than 158 healthcare institutions that report being hacked or having personal health information compromised, according to the federal government.

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Brad Ericson

Brad Ericson

Publisher at AAPC
Brad Ericson, MPC, CPC, COSC, has been publisher for more than nine years. Before AAPC he was at Optum for 13 years and at Aetna Health Plans before that. He has been writing and publishing about healthcare since 1979. He received his Bachelor's in Journalism from Idaho State University and his Master's of Professional Communication degree from Westminster College of Salt Lake City.
Brad Ericson

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Brad Ericson, MPC, CPC, COSC, has been publisher for more than nine years. Before AAPC he was at Optum for 13 years and at Aetna Health Plans before that. He has been writing and publishing about healthcare since 1979. He received his Bachelor's in Journalism from Idaho State University and his Master's of Professional Communication degree from Westminster College of Salt Lake City.

One Response to “Hospital Pays $17K Ransom in Bitcoin to Free PHI”

  1. Dave says:

    I always knew that the bitcoin in idea was going to be a bad. Hospitalso need a better security. What if these hackers could download the data of patients from those same computer servers?

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