National Guard to Help Vermont Health Network After Cyber-Attack

The governor of Vermont has called in the National Guard to help the University of Vermont Health Network respond to a serious cyber-attack.

Six hospitals in the UVM Health Network are experiencing significant network problems following an attack that struck during the week of October 25. 

The impact of the attack on services has varied at the network's different affiliate organizations. Outages across a number of systems are being experienced at the University of Vermont Medical Center in Burlington, where some non-urgent elective procedures have been rescheduled.

Staff have been unable to access appointment schedules and some or all patient information. Sleep studies have been cancelled and outpatient radiology scans postponed.

In Vermont, patients visiting Porter Medical Center in Middlebury or Central Vermont Medical Center in Berlin have been warned to expect longer waiting times. In addition, electronic communication between the Home Health & Hospice in Colchester and the UVM Medical Center has been disrupted by the outage.

In New York, the hospital patient portal for the Alice Hyde Medical Center in Malone is currently down and electronic communication between the UVM Medical Center and Elizabethtown Community Hospital has been disrupted.

Yesterday, Vermont governor Phil Scott deployed the Vermont Army National Guard’s Combined Cyber Response Team 1 to assist the UVM Health Network's IT team with reviewing thousands of end-user computers and devices. 

"The deployment of the National Guard will aid our recovery from this incident, and this team’s expert advice and assistance will bolster our network’s operations going forward," said the network in a November 4 statement.

While "steady progress" is being made toward a full recovery, the network could not say for sure when all systems would be restored. 

Patients' data does not appear to have been exposed by the security incident.

"Quick action was taken to protect patient information, following emergency procedures," said UVM Health Network.

"We are working with state and federal law enforcement to determine the full scope of this attack. If any personal information has been compromised, we will notify those impacted and follow established protocols."

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