A ransomware attack has hit about 110 nursing homes and acute-care amenities on their IT provider, Virtual Care Provider, which is situated in the US state of Wisconsin and serves up data hosting, security, and access control to nursing homes across the nation.
The attack was nonetheless ongoing on Monday when cybersecurity author Brian Krebs first informed about the assault.
Krebs says it involves a ransomware strain known as Ryuk, identified for being utilized by a hacking group that calculates how much ransom victimized organizations can pay based on their measurement and perceived value.
Whoever it was who launched the attack, they received it wrong in this case. VCPI CEO and owner Karen Christianson told Krebs that her firm can’t afford to pay around $14 million Bitcoin payment that the attackers are demanding. Employees have been asking when they’ll get paid, however, the top precedence is to wrestle back access to digital medical records.
The attack affected nearly all of the agency’s core services: internet service, e-mail, access to patient information, client billing and phones, and even the internal payroll operations that VCPI makes use of to pay its workforce of almost 150. Regaining entry to electronic health records (EHR) is the topmost priority since, without that access, the lives of the seniors and others who reside in critical-care centers are at stake.
As Krebs notes, recent analysis suggests that death rates from heart attacks rose in the months and years following data breaches or ransomware attacks at healthcare centers. A report from Vanderbilt University Owen Graduate School of Management says that it’s not the attacks themselves that result in the death rate rise.