Large US healthcare provider's network shut down by malware

It does not appear the attackers compromised data, MedStar Health said

A large healthcare provider in the Washington, D.C., area said it has resorted to paper transactions after malware crippled part of its network early Monday.

MedStar Health, a not-for-profit that runs 10 hospitals, said its clinical facilities were functioning and that it did not appear data had been compromised. The malware prevented "certain users from logging into our system."

"MedStar acted quickly to prevent the virus from spreading throughout the organization," it said in a statement posted on Facebook. "We are working with our IT and cybersecurity partners to fully assess and address the situation."

MedStar Health officials could not be immediately reached after business hours for comment.

The organization did not describe what type of malware infected its systems. But over the last two months, two health care organizations have said their networks were affected by ransomware.

Ransomware encrypts files and displays a message asking victims for a payment, usually in bitcoin, in order to obtain the decryption key.

Methodist Hospital of Henderson, Kentucky, declared an internal state of emergency last week after it was infected with the Locky ransomware, reported computer security writer Brian Krebs. An attorney for the facility said it wanted to avoid paying the ransom, which was around US$1,600, the report said.

Last month, Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center in Los Angeles paid $17,000 to attackers in order to get its systems running again. Allen Stefanek, president and CEO of Hollywood Presbyterian, said in a statement the payment was the "quickest and most efficient way" to restore its systems.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy


First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni


For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell


The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi


The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott


My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?