Malware

Ransomware Attack Hits Nursing Homes

Over 100 nursing homes left without access to medical files

An attack on a Wisconsin based IT company left over 100 nursing homes across the US without access to patients’ medical files. The owner of the IT company Virtual Care Provider Inc (VCPI) fears for the lives of the patients currently affected.

The ransom attack came early in the morning of November 17th, deploying a ransomware strain known as Ryuk. Ryuk estimates the amount of ransom to be paid, $14 million in this case, based on an analysis of the company. Currently all functionality, including internet, email, payroll, and others are down for VCPI.

Anxious employees inquire about payroll, but the company says it’s top priority is restoring access to medical files. Unfortunately, VCPI is claiming it isn’t able to pay the ransom. This has left several facilities facing closure without access to billing and payments.

Aftermath

Research suggests patients can suffer consequences of a ransomware attack even after the facility has recuperated. Confusion in medication, treatment, and other vital information can lead to complications down the road for those who were seeking medical care during the crisis.

Protection and Prevention

As the numbers of ransomware attacks increase, the need for better security does as well. Most Ryuk attacks are built over years but instigated with an initial infection stemming from an opened email attachment. Staying vigilant, especially in the patient sensitive medical field, is more important than ever.

For a list of ransomware attacks that have already taken place in 2019, you may click here. We have also created a map, see below, of the ransomware attacks that have taken place in the U.S.

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