Alabama Health System Hit by Ransomware Attack

Oct. 3, 2019
With IT systems paralyzed, medical staff at three hospitals have shifted into manual mode and are using paper copies in place of digital records

A ransomware attack has slammed the three hospitals in Alabama’s DCH Health System this week. DCH’s three hospitals in Tuscaloosa, Fayette and Northport are closed to all but the most critical new patients.

On Thursday, Oct. 3, DCH issued a statement saying it “continues its efforts to recover from a cyberattack that began on Oct. 1. While the attack continues to impact DCH’s ability to accept new patients, we are still able to provide critical medical services to those who need it. Patients who have non-emergency medical needs are encouraged to seek assistance from other providers while DCH works to restore our systems.”

Previously the health system had said, “Upon discovery of the incident early on Oct. 1, we immediately implemented emergency procedures to continue providing safe and patient-centered care, and we initiated a comprehensive response that included coordination with law enforcement and engaging independent IT security and forensics experts who are working around the clock to help us understand and resolve this incident. While IT systems are down, medical staff have shifted operations into manual mode and are using paper copies in place of digital records to provide safe care to our patients.

“At this time, we have no indication that any data has been misused or removed from our system. However, we are committed to completing a full forensic investigation following resolution of this outage, and we will take all appropriate action in response to our findings.”

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