According to reports, the hospital decided to pay the hackers $17,000 worth of bitcoin. In a letter published by Allen Stefanek, president and chief executive of Hollywood Presbyterian, “The quickest and most efficient way to restore our systems and administrative functions was to pay the ransom. In the best interest of restoring normal operations, we did this.”
This isn’t the first time that organizations have been forced to pay ransomware. A report from The Guardian points out that prior to this, two Massachusetts police departments also paid off hackers in order to gain access to their files again. For those unfamiliar with ransomware, basically this is a malware that encrypts your files.
However the person holding the key to said files belongs in the hands of the hackers, and usually they demand a fee before handing the keys over to you. Sometimes they threaten to publish these files online or delete them entirely if the ransom isn’t paid. Granted paying the ransom would seem to encourage such behavior, but sometimes there is no choice.