Alabama Hospital System crippled by RYUK Ransomware

Three Alabama hospitals are turning away “all but the most-critical new patients,” in response to a ransomware attack according to BBC.

DCH Regional Medical Center, Fayette Medical Center and Northport Medical Center were all affected by the attack. The hospitals are all a part of the DCH Health System, which became infected with RYUK ransomware on Oct. 1st.

It is unclear as of today, the scope of the hospital’s affected systems. The hospital did say that as of October 5th, they had “obtained a decryption key from the attacker” and were beginning to test and restore a limited number of systems. This likely means the hospital system agreed to pay the ransom. The ransom amount was not stated.

“We will continue to divert any new admissions, other than those that are critical, to other facilities,” said DCH.

According to the statement, ambulances are being redirected away from the affected hospitals. Doctors are “using paper copies in place of digital records”.  

This comes on the heels of at least 621 reported ransomware attacks on government agencies, healthcare, and schools in the last nine months. 

A ransomware attack is considered a security incident under HIPAA

What Is Ryuk?

Ryuk is a ransomware strain discovered in August of 2018. After initial infection, Ryuk can go days or months without being detected. It then enables a threat actor to attack an organization’s critical systems.

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