Patients diverted to other hospitals after ransomware locks down key software

Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center, a hospital in Los Angeles, is the victim of what officials describe as an ongoing cyberattack. A hospital spokesperson told Ars in a prepared statement that "patient care has not been affected" by the intrusion. And an executive of the hospital told reporters that the attack was "random" and not targeted at patient records.

However, local news organizations have reported that some emergency patients were diverted to other hospitals—and that some of the hospital's systems have been locked down by ransomware. The hospital has reverted to paper patient registration and medical records, according to NBC 4 in Los Angeles, and the hospital's network has been shut down for over a week.

A spokesperson for the Federal Bureau of Investigations' Los Angeles office confirmed to Ars that HPMC had been targeted in a cyberattack, but he declined to comment further as an investigation is ongoing. The amount being demanded by the attackers to provide the key to unlock the hospital's systems has not been made public, though it has been reported to be as much as 9,000 Bitcoin—the equivalent of $3.6 million.

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