Experience Management

Ransomware at a Discount?

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shutterstock_165627185Earlier this week I posted about a Los Angeles hospital, Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center, that had lost access to their EMR (Electronic Medical Records) system due to ransomware. In this follow up article, the hospital paid the ransom to unlock their systems. The initial article stated that the criminals had demanded 9,000 bit coins which had a value of $3.55 million. The article referenced in this post indicates that the demand was for forty bit coins. Either the hospital was able to negotiate a significant discount or the first article was incorrect.
The President and CEO of Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center Allen Stefanek, along with hospital executives, decided that paying the ransom was the fastest way to restore access to the EMR (Electronic Medical Records) system. Philosophically I think most of us would agree that paying ransom only encourages further criminal actions and may serve as recruitment for future criminals. That being said, philosophical arguments don’t help nurses who are managing 434 beds filled with acute short term care patients. I am glad that the hospital was able to regain access to their system. This type of malware has been targeting consumers for some time now and it was only a matter of time before the criminals decided to move from photos to a company’s critical data. Unfortunately this successful attack means we need to be prepared for more.
I will have another post regarding blockchain, which is the underlying technology of bitcoin, and how firms are building new transnational systems with the technology.

About the Author

For over 20 years Mr. Price has led teams doing needs analysis, design, development, implementations and presales in the IBM Collaboration space. Prior to consulting Mr. Price spent 12 years at an international bank deploying IBM messaging and collaboration solutions. As a customer Mr. Price led project teams of international resources for design and implementation projects. Mr. Price is an three time IBM Champion.

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