Memorial Health System hit by ransomware attack that crippled hospitals

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The outage forced the chain had to cancel appointments and rely on paper records

Computers owned by Memorial Health System were hit by an attack from the Hive ransomware group on Sunday, causing a system outage. Memorial Health announced that it suffered “an information technology security incident in the early morning hours this morning, August 15, 2021.” 

“As a result, we suspended user access to information technology applications related to our operations,” the non-profit health system said in a statement

The company is still struggling to get operations back to normal. In the meantime, medical personnel have been forced to rely on paper records and cancel radiology exams and non-urgent surgical cases. The organization said it didn’t believe patient records were stolen in the attack. 

"At this time no known patient or employee personal or financial information has been compromised," said Memorial Health System president and CEO Scott Cantley. "We are continuing to work with IT security experts to methodically investigate to precisely understand what happened and are taking the appropriate actions to resolve any and all issues."

Hive ransomware group

Memorial Health System represents 64 clinics, including the Marietta Memorial, Selby General, and Sistersville General hospitals in the Marietta-Parkersburg metropolitan area in West Virginia and Ohio. 

The party that carried out the attack is allegedly the Hive ransomware gang, a group that began targeting businesses this summer. Although Memorial Health officials said they didn’t believe any information was compromised, Hive typically links to data stolen from its victims. 

“Like most ransomware gangs, Hive has a leak site called HiveLeaks and hosted on the dark web, where they published links to data stolen from almost two dozen victims that did not pay the ransom,” reported Bleeping Computer. “Most of the businesses listed on the leak site appear to be small to medium sized, many having around or less than 100 employees.”

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