Virtual Care Provider target in $14M ransomware attack, leaving patient records inaccessible

Staff at more 110 nursing homes and acute-care facilities have been unable to access patient records since Nov. 17 after internet security and data storage services provider Virtual Care Provider was hit with a ransomware attack, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Russian hackers are demanding $14 million in Bitcoin from Virtual Care Provider to restore its computers. The ransomware attack has affected 80,000 computers. Staff members have been unable to access patient records, use the internet, pay employees or order medication.

"We have employees asking when we're going to make payroll," Karen Christianson, CEO of Virtual Care Provider, said in an interview. "But right now all we're dealing with is getting electronic medical records back up and life-threatening situations handled first."

Virtual Care Provider has launched an investigation into the cyberattack. It's unclear if some of the locations will close because they are unable to restore services. The IT provider is working with its clients to rebuild 100 physical services.

More articles on cybersecurity:
Dr. David Feinberg responds to criticism of Ascension, Google project
Indiana physician group warns 3,500 patients of data breach
Ascension's Eduardo Conrado: Fulfilling the promise of digital health information

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