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Hospital pays $17K USD for ransomware key so it can access it’s own files.

The Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Centre has paid a ransom of 40 bitcoins, or $17,000 USD to the group that locked down access to the hospitals medical record systems.  They paid the ransom 10 days after the hospital lost access to its client files.

The president and CEO of the Hollywood Medical Centre made the following statement:

"HPMC has restored its EMR on Monday, February 15th," President and CEO of Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center Allen Stefanek wrote in a statement published by the hospital late Wednesday. "All clinical operations are utilizing the EMR system. All systems currently in use were cleared of the malware and thoroughly tested. We continue to work with our team of experts to understand more about this event."

This event is similar to the same event that occurred a bit closer to home on the Gold Coast, Queensland, at the Miami Medical Centre http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-12-10/hackers-target-gold-coast-medical-centre/4418676 .  In that case the ransom was NOT paid and the centre lost up to two years worth of data.

This is why MTC is always reminding it’s clients of the importance of onsite and offsite backups.

We monitor all backups that we setup, and contact our clients when their backups fail to complete or test correctly.

This is why it is important for MTC clients to please be responsive to our emails and phone calls regarding backups, or anything IT related.  It is your professional responsibility to ensure your company data is looked after.

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