Universal Health Services (UHS), one of the largest healthcare providers in USA included in the Fortune 500 list, was ransomware attacked at the weekend. Its true extent attack has not been identified so far. Universal Health Services has and operates acute care hospitals, behavioral health centers, surgical hospitals, orthopedic surgery centers and radiotherapy centers. The company operates over 400 healthcare facilities in the US and the UK, has more than 90.000 employees and provides healthcare to approximately 3,5 million patients each year.
Universal Health Services hospitals operate without internal medicine systems IT from Sunday morning, according to reports from staff and patients at SOCIAL MEDIA. Some patients have been evacuated from hospitals, while emergencies have been transferred to other hospitals, as UHS facilities could not carry out laboratory work.
According to Universal Health Services officials, the ransomware attack took place on the night of September 26, at around 2:00 p.m. CT. Employees reported that the computers were restarted and then appeared on screen give them a note ransoms. Later, computers were shut down and IT staff asked the hospital to keep the systems off operation.
ZDNet confirms problems with IT systems in UHS hospitals and care centers in North Carolina and Texas. Similar problems occurred and in other U.S. states, such as Arizona, Florida, and California, according to a Reddit thread.
Many users claiming to be employees of Universal Health Services commented on Reddit about the incident security. Specifically, a user by name Chickenismurder stated the following: "I'm working at a UHS facility in Tucson and [EXPLETIVE] is definitely down. They will not even let us activate them computers for at least 24 hours. We are a psychiatric clinic, so no one dies unless they get the results of their laboratory test. ".
Another user by name rebeIduckling also commented on the incident saying the following: "I work in a psychiatric clinic in Philly PA. The nurses told me that they asked the patients what they take for morning medicines and then they did not even give evening medicines e.g. have no record of their medications. I had to write my photocopy notes with my own hands and look at the graphs for each treatment goal. It was a nightmare ".
Despite initial reports that the entire network of Universal Health Services, many hospitals denied having any problems. In addition, the company issued an official statement, admitting that it was attacked by ransomware.
According to reports, the incident was caused by Ryuk ransomware, but there is no evidence of these allegations. Ryuk is a ransomware that has been in obscurity for months, but has returned to the threat landscape sparking security incidents last week.