Further evidence of a worrying trend whereby healthcare providers have become legitimate targets for ransomeware attacks.
Lives being put at risk - with access to a patient's records and doctor's notes prevented - ultimately results in healthcare providers being more motivated than most organisations to simply pay the ransom.
In the same way governments refuse to negotiate with terrorists, industry best practice suggests it is preferable to not pay the ransom, in the hope of spoiling the ransomware business model.
Choosing whether or not to pay the ransom is likely to be an excruciating decision, as while it immediately gives access back to vital patient records, it's only likely to encourage more ransomware attacks as the creators search for a reliable pay day.
As many as 75 percent of U.S. hospitals responding to a poll this week could have been hit with ransomware in the last year, according to the new Healthcare IT News and HIMSS Analytics Quick HIT Survey: Ransomware, and a chunk of those might not even know it. “Over half the people we polled indicated that they had some sort of ransomware attack,” said Brendan FitzGerald, HIMSS Analytics Research Director for Advisory Solutions. What’s more, another 25 percent are either unsure or have no way of knowing whether ransomware attacks were perpetrated against them or not. Taken together, that means approximately 75 percent of responding healthcare entities either were or could potentially have been targeted with a ransomware attack.