Surgeries canceled, ambulances diverted, IT system down at Ohio health system after ransomware attack

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Marietta, Ohio-based Memorial Health System is diverting some patients after a ransomware attack that forced it to shut down its IT systems, according to an Aug. 16 Marietta Times report.

An unknown hacker group launched the ransomware attack early Aug. 15.

"IT noticed irregularities in the data system," CEO Scott Cantley said at a news conference. "Security protocols call for the shutdown of our information technology system."

The health system is using emergency backup systems and making temporary modifications to "some of the things [it does]," Mr. Cantley said at the news conference. The health system is working with paper charts while systems are down to minimize disruption, according to the report.

Some clinical and financial operations have been temporarily disrupted, according to the report. All nonurgent surgical cases and radiology exams were canceled.

Its emergency departments are on diversion, but the health system will continue to accept stroke and trauma patients at its Marietta (Ohio) Hospital campus. Other campuses are on diversion for all nontrauma patients. The diversions will continue until IT systems are restored.

The health system is working with security partners, such as the FBI and Homeland Security, to restore its system quickly.

"Hopefully within the next 24-48 hours, they will be able to tell us what we need to know about who hacked us," Mr. Cantley said.

Mr. Cantley said there is no evidence at this time that patient or employee information has been compromised. Health system staff has been drilled for emergency situations, including cyberattacks, he said at the news conference.

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