Hollywood Presbyterian Memorial Medical Center pays 40 bitcoins to get rid of ransomware

Ransomware can be expensive. Secure yourself in the digital world. Be safe.




TNT - Hospital paid hackers 40 bitcoins to get its network back

After facing an ordeal of downtime in their computer network for more than a week, Allen Stefanek, CEO and President of Hollywood Presbyterian Memorial Medical Center, decided to pay 40 bitcoins, equivalent to nearly $17,000, to hackers to fix problems facing his network.

The hospital’s internet network was struck by ransomware on 5th February. Important files were encrypted and the only way to decrypt the files was through an encryption key, for which the hackers had demanded money.

Previously reports had emerged that the hackers had asked for $3.6 million, his Stefanek said this was misinformation and was patently false. By paying the 40 bitcoins, the hospital chose the “quickest and most efficient way to restore our systems and administrative functions,” said Stefanek.

Medical records were supposedly back up and running after the payment. As per Stefanek’s letter, there is no evidence to support that patient or employee information was accessed by the hackers.

However, even if that were to be true, this is probably not the end of the story with malware and ransomware such as Cryptolocker and its variants hitting vulnerable individuals and businesses.