It does not look as though computer systems are all that safe and secure, as we heard last week that hackers have already leaked out details of 9,000 Department of Homeland Security employees, and this time around, it looks as though hackers have the upper hand after shutting down Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center’s IT systems. Not only that, the hackers have the gall to make a ransom demand amounting to the tune of $3.6 million.
It is no surprise then, that Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center staff declared an internal emergency last Friday after hackers managed to turn the hospital’s IT systems offline. An anonymous physician from the hospital did mention that there were warning signs before that, as the systems had been having issues for a week, resulting in departments working in the proverbial stone age – by communicating using fax machines.
With the network shutdown in full swing, physicians were locked out of EHRs, while staff could not communicate via email. This has also resulted in several outpatients miss their treatments, while others had to drive to pick up their test results rather than having those delivered to them electronically. The ransom demand stands at 9,000 Bitcoins, which is equal to $3.6 million, but so far no payment has been made yet as at press time while the FBI looks into the hack.