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In an announcement made last week, a California hospital – the Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center in Los Angeles – revealed that it has paid $17,000 in ransom to hackers to get back the control of its computers infected with the so-called ‘ransomware’ malware.
The Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center is a 434-bed short-term acute care hospital, which is owned by CHC of South Korea.
The hospital said that it has made the ransom payment – in bitcoins - to the hackers to safeguard the privacy of its patients. The hackers had held the computer system of the hospital hostage for nearly ten days after launching a ‘ransomware’ attack earlier this month.
Sharing details about the ‘ransomware’ incident, the Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center said that the hackers infected its computers with ransomware; and, thus, blocked the hospital’s access to all its encrypted files.
The hospital said in a statement: “The malware locked access to certain computer systems and prevented us from sharing communications electronically. The malware locks systems by encrypting files and demanding ransom to obtain the decryption key.”
With the hospital eventually deciding to make the ransom payment to hackers to regain control of its hacked computers, the authorities at the hospital revealed that the hacked computer systems were back up again last Monday. The authorities also asserted that there presently is no evidence of the hackers having compromised patient or employee data.