The networks of two Prime Healthcare Services hospitals in Southern California were hit by “ransomware,” but a system spokesman said patient records weren't compromised.
Servers were disrupted this month at Desert Valley Hospital in Victorville and Chino Valley Medical Center in Chino, said Fred Ortega, the system's corporate director of government relations.
Ransomware infects a computer network and encrypts its data, holding it hostage. Hackers demand money for providing a digital decryption key, typically requiring payment in the form of bitcoin. Ortega said that the hospitals did not pay any ransom and that the facilities remained operational because of data backups. Some of the hospitals' IT systems were shut down to prevent the spread of data encryption. Ortega said the disruptive malware was contained and didn't affect patient care or compromise patient or staff records.
He said the FBI is investigating.
In March, Los Angeles-based Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center paid about $17,000 to hackers who infiltrated and disabled its computer network. The hospital did not have its systems adequately backed up.