Los Angeles hospital pays bitcoin ransom

Recently, hackers targeted Los Angeles hospital Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center with ransomware that encrypted critical data and demanded a bitcoin ransom. The hospital recently paid 40 bitcoins to retrieve the data, according to a hospital letter.

“The reports of the hospital paying 9,000 Bitcoins or $3.4 million are false. The amount of ransom requested was 40 Bitcoins, equivalent to approximately $17,000,” wrote Allen Stefanek, president and CEO, Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center. According to Stefanek, the quickest way to get the hospital files back was to simply pay the ransom.

On Feb. 15, the hospital was able to restore its electronic medical record system, and malware was removed from all of the systems. The hospital is currently working with IT experts to gain more information.

“I am very proud of the dedication and hard work of our staff who have maintained the highest level of service, compassion and quality of care to our patients throughout this process,” Stefanek wrote. “I am also thankful for the efforts of the technical staff as the EMR systems were restored, and their continued efforts as other systems are brought back online.”

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