UCSF pays $1M+ ransom to unlock medical school's computer systems

Jackie Drees - Print  | 

University of California San Francisco confirmed that it paid $1.14 million to hackers  after a June 1 ransomware attack on its medical school's computer servers. 

UCSF's IT team discovered the ransomware attack on June 3 and was able to partially stop it, but the hackers managed to encrypt some of the medical school's servers, leaving them temporarily inaccessible. 

"The data that was encrypted is important to some of the academic work we pursue as a university serving the public good," UCSF said in a statement published on its website. "We therefore made the difficult decision to pay some portion of the ransom, approximately $1.14 million, to the individuals behind the malware attack in exchange for a tool to unlock the encrypted data and the return of the data they obtained." 

UCSF is working with a cybersecurity consultant and outside experts to investigate the security incident and increase the strength of its IT system security. The university said it expects to fully restore the affected  servers "soon," and it does not believe patient medical records were exposed, according to the June 26 news release. 

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