19 Feb 2016

Hollywood-PresbyterianThe Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center in Los Angeles, California was recent hit with ransomware and paid 40 bitcoins, the equivalent of $16,664, to get their network back.

When the attack occurred on February 5, the hospital immediately informed IT security and law enforcement agencies.  While the computer network was locked down, however, the hospital had to go back to the olden days.  People had to use phones and fax machines and relied on paper.  As if that weren’t enough of a headache, people had to decipher doctors’ notoriously bad handwriting.

Communications and operations at Hollywood Presbyterian became very cumbersome, so the hospital decided the most efficient way to get back to business as usual was to pay the ransom.  Once they did, they were given a decryption key and the network was restored.

People are usually advised not to give in to ransomware demands, as the more hackers are able to make from the scam, the more others will do it.  Ransoms usually run around $500, but with a successful hack like this, you can be sure that more large organizations will become targets for higher ransoms going forward.

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