Hollywood Presbyterian hospital paid $17,000 to hackersby Nikola Strahija on February 19th, 2016 An LA hospital has paid $17,000 in bitcoins to hackers in order to get access to their computers which have been infected with ransomware for more than a week.
Hospital staff had been forced to use pen-and-paper and send documents via fax while some patients reportedly had to travel up to an hour for some lab tests.
As previously reported by local news sources the hackers were demanding 8840 in bitcoins - an equivalent of $3.4m at the time but Allen Stefanek, hospital's chief, denied this. In his memo Mr. Stefanek states that the hackers demanded 40 in bitcoins, an equivalent to $17,000 USD.
He continues: "The quickest and most efficient way to restore our systems and administrative functions was to pay the ransom and obtain the decryption key. In the best interest of restoring normal operations, we did this".
According to his memo, the electronic medical record system "EMR" was brought back on Monday, February 15th and all clinical operations are currently utilizing it. He also states that all other systems that are currently in use were cleared of malware while others are being checked and brought back online.
This story has gained significant media exposure and, in my opinion, we can be sure that crimes like these will become more frequent as this case is another win for the hackers attacking with ransomware.