Thursday, February 18, 2016
Hollywood Presbyterian Pays $17,000 In Bitcoin Ransom
The head of Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center, the Los Angeles area hospital which has been grappling with a ransomware attack on its systems which nearly shut down the hospital, said in a notice posted to its website that it has paid $17,000 in Bitcoin, in order to access its computer systems and data. According to the hospital, it paid 40 Bitcoins, or approximately $17,000, in order to access the encrypted files and restore access to the hospital's files. The hospital said earlier reports of a demand for 9000 Bitcoincs, or $3.4M, for access to those files were false. The hospital reverted to using paper records earlier this month, after hackers took the hospital's systems offline, forcing patients to be diverted and shutting down email, electronic medical records systems, and other systems at the hospital. Surprisingly, the FBI has suggested that victims pay the ransom, as that is often the only way to get access to their encrypted data.