Kansas Heart Hospital pays ransom, then hackers came back for more

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, reports KWCH.

The ransomware attack occurred Wednesday evening, Greg Duick, MD, president of Kansas Heart Hospital, told KWCH, adding the attack affected the entire institution.

Kansas Heart Hospital paid "a small amount" of ransom to the hackers, Dr. Duick told KWCH, though he did not indicate exactly how much was paid because an investigation into the incident is ongoing.

However, instead of returning full access to the files, the hackers demanded another ransom, according to the report. Kansas Heart Hospital said it will not pay again.

"The policy of Kansas Heart Hospital, in conjunction with our consultants, felt no longer was this a wise maneuver or strategy," Dr. Duick said in the report.

The FBI does not recommend hospitals pay ransoms. In a recent FBI post, James Trainor, assistant director of the FBI's cyber division, said paying a ransom does not guarantee an organization will regain access to its data, as appears to be the case at KansasHeartHospital. "Paying a ransom not only emboldens current cyber criminals to target more organizations, it also offers an incentive for other criminals to get involved in this type of illegal activity," he said in the post.

Dr. Duick said no patient care has been jeopardized as a result of the ransomware attack. He said the hospital had a contingency plan in place, which included an insurance policy to help cover the costs of cyber extortion, according to the report.

It is unclear whether Kansas Heart Hospital has regained full access to computer files.

Kansas Heart Hospital did not immediately respond to a request from Becker's for comment.

More articles on ransomware:

DeKalb Health suffers ransomware attack, diverts patients to other hospitals 
HHS' OCR to develop guide on preparing for, responding to ransomware 
House of Representatives targeted in ransomware attempts 

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