Scripps Health Knocked Offline by Ransomware
A leading Californian healthcare provider has been hit by a cyber-attack forcing the postponement of some patient appointments and a reversion back to offline processes.
Non-profit Scripps Health posted several updates to Twitter over the weekend, claiming that an incident detected on Saturday forced it to suspend access to some applications, including MyScripps and scripps.org.
“While our information technology applications are offline, patient care continues to be delivered safely and effectively at our facilities, utilizing established back-up processes, including offline documentation methods,” it continued.
“Some patient appointments scheduled for today and Monday, May 3, will need to be postponed as a result of this. We are working on how best to notify these patients about the need to reschedule.”
The San Diego-headquartered provider said that outpatient urgent care centers and Scripps HealthExpress locations and emergency departments remain open for patient care, and tried to reassure patients that its “physicians and employees are well-trained and thoroughly prepared to respond to this sort of situation.”
Local reports confirmed ransomware as the cause of the attack, adding that patients with life-threatening conditions would be diverted from the group’s hospitals where possible.
Scripps is reported to generate revenues of around $3 billion annually and treats an estimated 700,000 patients each year.
Unfortunately, the healthcare sector continues to be a major target for threat actors who see the pandemic as a perfect opportunity to turn up the heat on hospitals for their own gain.
Cyber-attacks on global healthcare organizations (HCOs) surged by more than double the rate of those targeting other sectors at the end of 2020, with ransomware the primary cause, according to Check Point.
In the meantime, Scripps Health said it was working hard to restore systems.
“Our technical teams and vendor partners are working around the clock to resolve these issues as quickly as possible. We have notified law enforcement and the appropriate governmental organizations,” it added.