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“Hospital’s Network Held Hostage by Hackers”

Safe and Sound By Margaret Utterback and Rachel H. Bryers

Hackers have attacked the network systems at Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center in Southern California by infecting the hospital’s systems with ransomware. These hackers are allegedly demanding over $3.6 billion to decrypt the system to restore functionality.

The network has now reportedly been offline for over a week, forcing staff at the hospital to complete daily functions without the use of email and without access to other essential computer systems. Because of this incident, being called an “internal emergency” by the hospital’s CEO, some patients have apparently been transferred to other hospitals for their continued treatment. Reports also state that the hospital is cooperating with the FBI and LAPD in working to pinpoint the identity of the hackers.

UPDATE: On Monday, Hollywood Presbyterian paid a ransom of approximately $17,000 for the decryption key to remove the malware from its systems. The hackers provided the key and the hospital’s systems are reportedly functioning normally again. Previous reports that the hackers were requesting a ransom of over $3 million were false, according to the hospital’s CEO.