FirstHealth computer networks threatened in malware attack

Pinehurst, N.C.-based FirstHealth of the Carolinas is recovering from a malware threat the health system's IT team detected Tuesday, according to a notice on the health system's website.

FirstHealth's computer network experienced a downtime event Oct. 17 at 2:15 p.m. due to a malware threat, the notice states. The health system's information system team identified the threat and implemented a security protocol. The team shutdown the network and staff began its downtime procedures.

Out of an abundance of caution, the hospital remains on downtime as of Oct. 20. The information system team is working to verify that all systems and devices have been tested and cleared of any threat.

"As a result of the quick response by the information system security team, the virus did not reach any patient information, operational information or databases.  Patient information has not been compromised.  At this time, it appears that no damage has occurred to the network or devices," the notice reads.

The health system says the virus was a new form of the WannaCry malware. An anti-virus patch has been developed and is being implemented throughout the system.

FirstHealth also notes the malware did not affect its Epic EHR, but that patients may experience delays accessing the MyChart patient portal.

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