Ransomware: Conversation we were having before class on Thursday

Hospital ransomware: A chilling wake-up call

Hollywood Presbyterian was forced to pay up, just like everyone else.

f you had a loved one in the Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center during its recent ransomware siege, would you be mad at the digital extortionists or the hospital? For me, the answer would be both.

Hollywood Presbyterian declared a state of emergency over the ransomware on February 5th. The hospital issued a statement to press Wednesday evening on the 17th saying, “HPMC has restored its electronic medical record system (“EMR”) on Monday, February 15th.”

The hospital isn’t saying exactly when it paid the ransom, but it looks like they waited at least a week to end the file-hostage situation. Hollywood Presbyterian said its payment was 40 bitcoin, around $17K (not the 9K in bitcoin / $3.6 million initially reported). More…

1 Comment

  1. Nice, this was more informative than the one I read. Still surprises me though. It reminded me of the Xbox Live and Sony playstation attack by Lizard Squad on Christmas day a few years back. That was kind of the beginning of widespread acknowledgement,for me at least, that this kind of thing can be done easily since it was made so public and affected so many kids on the busiest network day of the year for them. And that was just a simple DDoS program, not even a hack.

    “If I was working [at Microsoft or Sony] and had a big enough budget I could totally stop these attacks,” a member of Lizard Squad told The Daily Dot last year. “I’d buy more bandwidth, some specific equipment, and configure it correctly. It’s just about programming skill. With an attack of this scale it could go up to the millions. But that’s really no problem for Sony and Microsoft.”
    The only question is how can this be stopped if at all? Especially without restricting internet freedom it seems impossible.”

    Also if these hackers are willing to extort a hospital then clearly anyone is fair game…


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