Finger Lakes Health struck by ransomware attack

March 29, 2018


Geneva, NY-situated Finger Lakes Health has been struck by a ransomware attack that has affected its computer system. Workers have been compelled to work on pen and paper while the health system attempts to get rid of the malware and reestablish access to electronic data.

The ransomware attack on the health organization started at about midnight on Sunday, March 18, 2018, with workers becoming conscious of the attack when a ransom demand was delivered by the hackers.

Finger Lakes Health operates Geneva General Hospital and Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hospital in Pen Yan and numerous long-term health centers, primary care physician practices, specialty care practices, and daycare clinics in upstate New York. It’s not clear precisely how many health centers have been impacted by the ransomware attack.

Finger Lakes Health has put in place emergency measures for attack scenarios like this, which were instantly adapted when the attack was known. On March 20, the health system issued a declaration to local mass media channels regarding the attack summarizing that although some of its information systems were inaccessible, its manual stoppage procedure had been put in place and its hospitals and care services were still working. Such an attack will obviously have an effect on the delivery of medical facilities, even though patient care is still the key priority while the ransomware attack is coped.

Finger Lakes Health is working together with law enforcement organizations and IT teams to reestablish access to data and bring its systems back to complete functionality. Presently it seems that the hackers have just encrypted data. There is no evidence to indicate that any patient or worker information has been accessed.

No details on the kind of ransomware used in the ransomware attack have been released and it’s not clear precisely how much was demanded by the hackers to provide the keys to unlock the encryption, even though Finger Lakes Health’s vice president of community facilities, Lara Turbide, has stated that the ransom was paid. She stated: “We made this conclusion in the interest of patients and resident care to reduce patient inconvenience and to move past this occurrence as swiftly as possible”.