WICKENBURG, AZ (July 9, 2019) In the early morning hours of June 28, the Hospital network was attacked in what is called a ransomware attack. Essentially, data on the network was encrypted in such a way that it was not recoverable by the hospital. Per industry recommendations, Hospital Chief Information Officer Blue Beckham, notified local law enforcement and the FBI. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Cyber Division, over 100 similar attacks have been reported across the nation and seem to focus on mid-sized businesses and municipalities. The most notable was the NY Times.
“Hospital employees did a stellar job of responding to the cyber attach and did everything possible to return core systems to functionality, protect patient information, and partner with law enforcement agencies including the FBI,” said Jim Tavary Hospital President and CEO. “We have no indication or evidence to suggest any patient data was compromised.” Consequently, the cyber-attack affected hospital and clinic phone systems, allowing outbound calls but not inbound calls and, shared files were not accessible.
According to information provided by the FBI, suspected Ryuk ransomware encrypts files on network shares and an infected computer’s filesystem. Once a system is compromised, the attacker encrypts all the network’s files and demands a ransom to be paid in cryptocurrency. “Generally speaking, the ‘key’ to decrypt is never given, and the likely ransom fee would be in the range of $170,000 to $560,000 depending on the current exchange rate between bitcoin and US dollars,” said Beckham. The hospital did not make contact with the attacker nor pay a ransom. Instead, the hospital chose to dispatch a technical team and work with its service partners to sanitize the servers and network storage to restore core systems.
About Wickenburg Community Hospital
Established in 1926, Wickenburg Community Hospital is one of a few remaining non-profit community hospitals owned and operated by citizens of the town. The community hospital is a federally designated Critical Access Hospital and a state designated Level IV Trauma Center supporting the needs of its’ residents and surrounding rural communities within 3,300 square miles. The hospital’s comprehensive health system includes specialized emergency medicine, advanced lifesaving technology, critical cardiac care, Mayo Clinic telestroke partnership, community clinics, specialty clinics, surgical and diagnostic services, nuclear medicine, laboratory, MRI, cardiopulmonary, pharmacy, rehabilitation center, infusion center, wound care center, allergy program, interventional pain management and more. For more information call 928-684-5421 or visit www.wickhosp.com