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Hospital pays $17,000 ransom to get access back to its encrypted files


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Hospital pays $17,000 ransom to get access back to its encrypted files
The payment will likely prompt debate over how to deal with a pervasive type of cybercrime

A Los Angeles hospital has paid US$17,000 to cyberattackers who crippled its network by encrypting its files, a payment that will likely rekindle a fierce debate over how to deal with a problem known as ransomware.

Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center issued a statement saying that its systems were restored on Monday, 10 days after malware locked access to its systems.

The hospital contacted law enforcement as well as computer experts, wrote Allen Stefanek, president and CEO of Hollywood Presbyterian, in a statement on Wednesday. But it is apparent those efforts did not help in recovering files.

"The quickest and most efficient way to restore our systems and administrative functions was to pay the ransom and obtain the decryption key," Stefanek wrote. "In the best interest of restoring normal operations, we did this."

The cyberattackers requested 40 bitcoins, or about $17,000, not 9,000 bitcoins, worth about $3.4 million, as reported in the media, Stefanek wrote.

The style of attack, known as ransomware, has become increasingly common, affecting companies, organizations and individuals.

Ransomware attacks have been occurring for more than a decade, but only in the last couple of years have the attacks become large scale. Computer security experts have theorized that this type of attack has a higher rate of success versus other cybercrime activity that has become more difficult.

FULL STORY AT NETWORKWORLD

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The cyberattackers requested 40 bitcoins, or about $17,000, not 9,000 bitcoins, worth about $3.4 million, as reported in the media, Stefanek wrote.

I read a few articles mentionning 9,000 BTC yesterday. I really wonder where they got that information from. I know it's an hospital, but $3.4m, that's a bit exagerated.

2016 and a lot of people are still unaware of the true danger of Ransomware.

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Yeppers, indeed.  Situational awareness is so important.  as the first prime rule.   and this too, sadly, applies to lesser types of infections, as well.

all those fake tech support scams come to mind.   But yes, alas, those mentioned here are the worst.

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