Healthcare System Ascension Confirms Ransomware Attack

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On May 8, one of the largest private healthcare systems, Ascension, detected unusual activity in their network systems, which was later determined to have been caused by a ransomware attack.

Systems that are currently unavailable include the electronic health records systems and various systems utilized to order certain tests, procedures and medications.

Ascension hospitals and facilities remain open and are providing care. However, due to downtime procedures, several hospitals are currently on diversion for emergency medical services in order to ensure emergency cases are triaged immediately.

An Ascension spokesperson released the latest update on May 11:

“We continue to diligently investigate and address the recent ransomware incident, working closely with industry leading cybersecurity experts to assist in our investigation and restoration and recovery efforts. Additionally, we have notified law enforcement, as well as government partners including the FBI, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the American Hospital Association (AHA). We remain in close contact with the FBI and CISA, and we are sharing relevant threat intelligence with the Health Information Sharing and Analysis Center (H-ISAC) so that our industry partners and peers can take steps to protect themselves from similar incidents.

While our restoration work continues in earnest, our focus is on restoring systems as safely as possible. While we expect this process will take time to complete, we are making progress and systems are being restored in a coordinated manner at each of our care sites. We will continue to share updates on our recovery process.”

This is an ongoing situation.

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