Ransomware Forces Indiana Doctors to Use Pen and Paper

An Indiana healthcare organization (HCO) has the dubious honor of becoming the first in 2018 to be forced offline by ransomware.

Hancock Health suffered the attack at around 9.30 pm last Thursday, local time, the HCO revealed in a statement yesterday.

The amount of Bitcoin demanded and the type of ransomware used are at present unknown. However, local reports at the time claimed that the entire network was affected – including 20 physician offices, wellness centers, hospitals and other facilities – forcing doctors, nurses and admin staff back to using pen and paper.

The HCO appears to have recovered remarkably quickly from the incident, presumably restoring from back-ups.

Its statement continued:

“Through the effective teamwork of the Hancock technology team, an expert technology consulting group, and our clinical team, Hancock was able to recover the use of its computers, and at this time, there is no evidence that any patient information was adversely affected. Hancock is continuing to work with national law enforcement to learn more about the incident. We plan to provide additional information to our community regarding this act soon.”

HCOs are thought to be particularly vulnerable to ransomware, given their large number of diverse endpoints and users, sometimes poor levels of cybersecurity, and the criticality of IT systems.