Security specialists from Bitdefender pay attention to an interesting case of a ransomware attack. Fraudsters attacked the computers of one of the branches of the Columbia Surgical Specialists medical center in Washington state and encrypted access to data of nearly 400,000 patients.
For the decryption key you had to pay almost 15 thousand dollars. With the patient’s safety in mind, the hospital decided to spend this money. The whole situation took place in January this year and after the attacked town hall near Seattle this is another case described in recent months.
As Bitdefender points out, when deciding to pay the ransom, the hospital acted against the FBI’s recommendations and the advice of security specialists. In the case of ransomware attacks, whose essence is file encryption, it most often advises against opposing hackers’ requests.
To regain access to data, the hospital has paid over USD 14640. A few hours before the scheduled time of several operations, we received a clear message from the hackers that we would not have access to the patient’s information until we paid the ransom, “Columbia said. We quickly found out that the health and well-being of our patients is the most important thing. After payment, we received a decryption key and we could immediately proceed with the decryption of data.
As it was made public, the ransom was paid from the money of the doctors who own the medical center, and the patients will not be charged in any way.
Remember that having a current antivirus program is very important, a list of current antivirus programs can be found here.