Ransomware are among the newest threats that are causing menacing problems for organisations and individuals worldwide. But no one ever thought that someone could stoop so low as to hold a hospital system hostage for ransom.
But it is exactly what has happened in Hollywood where a hospital – Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center (HPMC) has been held hostage by a Ransomware and the demand for letting go of the control of the systems is of 9,000 Bit Coins, which equals to almost US$3.6 million!
The CEO and President of the hospital Allen Stefanek has revealed that the hospital systems are still under the attack and accordingly they had to shut down a few of the systems. Several patients have been shifted to other hospitals and even the systems managing the Intensive Care Unit have been affected. He also revealed that the attackers have demanded a ransom of 9,000 Bit Coins (BTC) to allow the hospital to get back the control of its own systems.
What is a Ransomware attack?
A Ransomware is a malicious code or a malware that takes the control of the systems and the networks on which it has been planted by the attackers. It gives the attackers the power to control the system while barring the actual owners of the system, which in this case is the hospital from accessing it. The attackers then demand a specific amount, just like a ransom for letting go of the control of the system back to the owners in lieu of the money. If the owners do not comply with the demand of the attackers, they might have the access to delete important data or cause other damages.
Why is the demand made in BTC?
BTC are crypto currencies that can be traded over the internet for any other currency such as the US$ or GBP. Since it exists on online wallets that are highly encrypted, it is difficult to trace the owners.
The hospital systems are still sieged by the attackers and despite the attempt from the hospital, the attackers are not willing to relinquish their control.