There’s been a new development in the case of the Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center’s case. Last week the hospital’s manager declared that all the servers were down, and the hospital received a ransom note from an unknown group of hackers. This group of hackers managed to extort 17.000 dollars from the Hollywood hospital in exchange for the unlock codes.
For those of you who are not up to date with the facts in the case of the hospital heist, here are the highlight of the case. On the 5th of February, Allen Stefanek, the CEO of the Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center announced that the access to the hospital’s databases have been blocked as a result of a cybernetic attack.
According to the preliminary investigations, the hospital’s server has been infected with the so-called Ransomware malware. This malware code is capable of basically overwriting all access code and to encrypt the files with a new code.
After the servers were taken online, the hospital’s management received a note from an unknown group who demanded that the hospital should pay no less than 3.4 million dollars if it wants the unlock code.
Several federal agencies, including the FBI and L.A. Police department, began to take an interest in the case. Unfortunately, in spite of their efforts, they were not able to track down the person of persons involved in the hospital heist.
For more than a week, the hospital could not communicate with its servers, meaning that all daily tasks were recorded using pen and paper. However, both the hospital’s managed and the authorities declared that no data theft occurred and that they are quite sure that the patient’s record are out of harm’s way.
Nearly days have elapsed since the attack, and no suspects could be found. And so, Allen Stefanek, along with his board, took a radical decision. For the sake of the hospital, the CEO accepted to pay no less than Bitcoins to the perpetrators in order to obtain the much needed unlock code.
On Wednesday, the CEO made a press statement in which he declared that the situation was brought to a conclusion after the hospital’s board agreed to give the cybernetic pirates 17.000 dollars in Bitcoins.
In the same press interview, Stefanek said that this is the only reasonable solution to get the hospital up and running again.
The hackers managed to extort 17.000 dollars from the Hollywood Hospital thus creating a precedent. According to Symantec, this small victory can only be a beginning of a much larger campaign to use malware codes in order to extort money from other institutions or companies.