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Hospital Pays $17K Ransom in Bitcoin to Free PHI

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  • February 18, 2016
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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.

Brad Ericson
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Brad Ericson, MPC, CPC, COSC, is a seasoned healthcare writer and editor. He directed publishing at AAPC for nearly 12 years and worked at Ingenix for 13 years and Aetna Health Plans prior to 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.

No Responses 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?