Hospital in chaos after ransomware attack — Analysis

Following a cyberattack, a Japanese medical center put off accepting new patients.

At the end of October, ransomware struck the Tsurugi municipal Handa Hospital.

The Mainichi Shimbun newspaper reported at the time that one day, many of the hospital’s printers suddenly began ejecting paper with a message in English saying the electronic records of around 85,000 patients had been stolen and encrypted. The hackers threatened to release the data if a ransom wasn’t paid. 

Handa refused payment and said the compromise records hadn’t been made public.
The hospital’s day-to-day services were, nevertheless, immediately paralyzed because there was no way to calculate medical fees.

Doctors could also not access basic information such as patient names and ages, along with the details of individual treatments and the medicine that they were given, because no hardcopies had been made.  

The staff was forced to temporarily resume paper-based records. They stopped taking new patients until January 4. “Every day was hectic, as if we were on a battlefield,” Toshiya Maruzasa, the hospital’s head of administration, told the Japan Times on Monday.

US responds to Russian arrest of ransomware hackers

Yasushi Sueto, the chief physician at the hospital told the paper that patient data must now be kept “not only electronically but also on paper.”

Ransomware attacks on large companies and entities have been increasing in frequency around the globe.

Colonial Pipeline Company and JBS (brazilian meat processing company) were just two businesses who paid ransoms to get their operations open.

In Colonial’s case, most of the money was later recovered by law enforcement.

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