On February 5, Hollywood Presbyterian’s computer network went down after a “ransomware” attack locked out the hospital’s staff, asking for a password. It was originally reported that the hackers demanded $3.4 million to get the system unlocked. However, the hospital was able to get everything back up and running after paying off the hackers with $17,000 in—what else?—Bitcoin.
“The quickest and most efficient way to restore our systems and administrative functions was to pay the ransom and obtain the decryption key,” hospital CEO Allen Stefanek told L.A. Weekly. “In the best interest of restoring normal operations, we did this.”
While operations were slowed down since they had to resort to paper records and documents, and some patients were transferred, Stefanek told the Weekly that, “Patient care has not been compromised in any way.”
The hospital was back up and running on Monday and the computers were said to be all clear of the malicious software. The FBI is currently investigating what is believed to be a random attack.