Los Angeles hospital pays $17,000 ransom to hackers to restore its computer system
In a statement released on Wednesday, the Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center in Los Angeles revealed that it has regained control of its ransomware-infected computer system by paying the hackers a ransom of $17,000 in bitcoins.
In the statement, the hospital’s President and CEO Allen Stefanek said that paying the mentioned ransom to the hackers was the "quickest and most efficient way" to regain control of the computers that had been infected with ‘ransomware’ malware since February 5.
Revealing that the ransomware had locked access to the computers systems at the Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center for 10 days, thereby interfering with the hospital staff's ability to communicate electronically, Stefanek said that the systems were restored on Monday, after the hospital paid the ransom.
Stefanek also said that the hospital had sought the help of law enforcement officials as well as computer experts to regain access to encrypted files; and added alongside those efforts could not be of any help to the hospital in recovering files.
About the hospital’s decision to pay a ransom of $17,000 to the hackers, Stefanek said: "The quickest and most efficient way to restore our systems and administrative functions was to pay the ransom and obtain the decryption key. In the best interest of restoring normal operations, we did this."
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