In December 2019, New Jersey’s largest healthcare provider, Hackensack Meridian Health, announced that its network was affected by ransomware. To prevent disruption of patient services, the hospital paid an undisclosed ransom to the hackers in exchange for decryption keys.
The attack caused two days of network downtime. Since the medical records were encrypted, non-emergency medical procedures had to be canceled. The medical team had to resort to using pen and paper to carry out tasks. Hackensack Meridian is working with a third-party cybersecurity firm to investigate the incident. So far, they have not found any evidence to suggest that patient data has been accessed by threat actors. However, since the process of restoring data from backups is a long process, the center decided to pay the ransom to ensure a quick recovery. The center includes 17 hospitals, employs 35,000 people, and generates $6 billion in annual revenue.
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