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The ransom for the Hollywood hospital computer held hostage by hackers is $3.6 million or 9,000 Bitcoin in virtual currency. The Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center has been the victim of a cyber-attack and thus is currently facing one of the most impressive demands asked in Ransomware.
Ransomware is a malware which is spread through downloads and phishing attacks. After it has been installed on an electronic device, it starts encrypting system files. As a result, the system of the computer will be locked up and it will display a message informing the user they have a certain time before all the files will be deleted forever. In order to get rid of the ransomware and recover their files, users have to pay a certain sum of money, demanded by the hackers.
The hospital has been down for one week and is still recovering from the cruel actions. NBC has reported that the medical center has been impeded to go through with its normal daily operations. In order to keep the activity going on, the staff had to switch to manual operations, the classical pen and paper along with telephones and faxes to communicate between departments. Everyone has been forbidden from using any computers for the virus could spread to other workstations as well.
CEO and president of the hospital Allen Stefanek has stated that the IT issues started last week after which they turned into a true internal emergency. It appears that the attack is not malicious but random because emergency rooms have been affected since last Friday.
The hospital is currently helped by various experts in cyber forensics, but also government authorities like the Los Angeles Police Department and the FBI. Someone suggested that the hackers do not wish to steal the data of the patients, but ransom the computer. According to Stefanek, there is no evidence that employee or patient information has been stolen and the patients have nothing to worry about.
However, others have voiced different opinions. Belmont West could not pick up the medical test results of his grandmother, while the 87-year-old mother of Jackie Mendez has to drive for over one hour to pick up hers from Palmdale. Other patients had even more serious problems since they could not go through with their medical treatments. Some were even transferred to other medical centers because certain medical equipment cannot be operated without computers, such as CT scans and X-Ray apparatuses.
The pharmacy, documentation and lab works were also heavily affected by the incident. The act of the Hollywood hospital computer held hostage by hackers was deemed to be of the lowest facture since it posed problems to old and sick people whose lives depend on the facilities of the hospital.
Image Source: Activist Post