12 healthcare ransomware attacks of 2016

Ransomware isn't a new phenomenon, but its growth throughout 2016 has made its prevalence known throughout the healthcare industry.

In fact, a July 2016 report showed the healthcare industry is hit significantly harder by ransomware than any other sector — approximately 88 percent of attacks hit hospitals.

Here are 12 healthcare-related ransomware attacks reported by Becker's Hospital Review this year, beginning with the earliest.

1. In January, Mount Pleasant, Texas-based Titus Regional Medical Center was hit with a ransomware attack that prevented the hospital's access to computer files. Read more

2. In February, hackers shut down the IT systems of Hollywood (Calif.) Presbyterian Medical Center and demanded a ransom. Initial reports claimed the hackers demanded the hospital pay 9,000 in bitcoin, equivalent to $3.6 million. Read more

Nearly two weeks later, Hollywood Presbyterian ended the electronic standoff by paying $17,000 to hackers. Hospital President and CEO Allen Stefanek claimed reports of a $3.4 million ransom were false. Instead, Mr. Stefanek said the amount of ransom requested was 40 bitcoins, equivalent to approximately $17,000. Read more

3. Two hospitals in Germany were victims of ransomware campaigns in February. Neuss-based Lukas Hospital did not have email access and was conducting business using pencils, paper and fax machines. North Rhine-Westphalia-based Klinikum Arnsberg hospital was also affected by a ransomware attack. Read more

4. In February, the Los Angeles County health department identified traces of ransomware on five of its computers. Read more

5. The Ottawa Hospital in Canada suffered a ransomware attack in which four computers became inaccessible to hospital administrators. No patient information was affected by the cyberattack. Read more

6. In March, Henderson, Ky.-based Methodist Hospital was hit with a ransomware virus that limited its use of electronic web-based services and prompted it to declare an internal state of emergency. Read more

After five days, Methodist Hospital emerged from the state of emergency and regained control of its computer systems. The hospital did not pay the ransom. Read more

7. Auburn, Ind.-based DeKalb Health suffered a ransomware attack that temporarily disrupted the health system's administrative computer system and forced it to divert patients to other hospitals. Read more

8. After hackers locked files at Kansas Heart Hospital in a ransomware attack, the Wichita-based hospital paid the ransom. But hackers didn't fully unlock the computer files, and they demanded more money to do so. Read more

9. A ransomware attack on Reston, Va.-based Professional Dermatology Care affected approximately 13,237 patient records. Read more

10. Keck Medicine in Los Angeles, part of University of Southern California, reported two servers were hit with ransomware in August, encrypting files and making them inaccessible to employees. The hospitals did not pay any ransom. Read more 

11. After being hit with a ransomware attack, a failed backup system caused Marin General Healthcare District and Prima Medical Group to lose clinical information collected in a two-week window at the Greenbrae, Calif.-based district's nine medical centers. The incident affected 2,292 patients of Marin Healthcare District and 2,934 patients of physicians with Prima Medical Group who work with Marin General Hospital. Read more

12. A ransomware attack on Grand Prairie, Texas-based Rainbow Children's Clinic in early August reportedly affected 33,638 patients. An investigation later proved a number of patient records had been deleted. Read more

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