Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital located in Los Angeles (CA) paid a ransom of $ 17 thousand dollars to hackers who blocked its computers on February, 5, the TASS reported.
Blackmailers initially demanded $ 3.6 million. But later they agreed to a transfer of $ 17,000 in Bitcoin virtual currency (which allows staying anonymous).
According to the head of the hospital administration, access to the hacked computer system was restored on February, 15.
The investigation of blackmail was initiated by the LAPD and the FBI. They recommended employees of the medical facilities to refuse to use computers and to disconnect their personal laptops and tablets from the network to prevent infection with computer viruses.
Hackers’ diversion partially paralyzed the hospital’s work. The administration had to transport a lot of its patients to be treated in other hospitals of the city. They had no access to a database of patients, their medical records, results of analyzes and tests sent by e-mail during 10 days. There was no possibility to conduct neither CT scans nor similar procedures.
The law enforcement agencies have not been able to identify the way the hackers closed access to the system. It also is unknown whether they tried to steal patients’ personal data or whether they have implemented malware.
After hacking the computer system all the work with documents in the hospital was being carried out on paper. Doctors used fax machines instead of e-mail.