Ransomware hits Princeton Community in West Virginia

Princeton Community Hospital in West Virginia is trying to resolve a ransomware attack via a total rebuild of its computer network, according to multiple news sources.

The reconstruction of its networks is a precaution to prevent potential reinfection, and involves replacing nearly 1,200 hard drives, Rose Morgan, vice president of patient care services, said.

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The hospital declined to provide further details about the incident and its restoration efforts.

A message on computers at the facility when they were turned on the morning of June 27 read: “If you see this text, then your files are no longer accessible because they have been encrypted,” according to an article in the newspaper in the hospital's community.

The rebuild began after IT staff determined that a ransom could not be paid for reasons that were not specified, news reports indicated. The degree to which a ransom payment was considered is unclear, and the hospital is declining further comment.

Executives say they believe that backup records will restore patient files. There is no indication that data has been removed from the facility's systems.

Also See: Washington State University breach compromises data of 1 million

Employees were able to get some patient data from four computers, such as allergies, medications and medical history, but the hospital’s electronic health records system currently is not accessible, and the hospital has reverted to paper documentation. Full restoration could take a week.

Employees in various departments cannot use their computers so they are ferrying physician orders and other information among hospital departments as the pneumatic tube system is not working, Morgan was quoted as saying in other published reports.

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