US Primary Care Services Shuttered After Cyber-Attack

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A widespread cyber-attack on hospital computer systems has caused significant disruptions across the United States, leading to the closure of emergency rooms in multiple states and the diversion of ambulances. 

The incident began last Thursday, 3 August, and targeted facilities operated by Prospect Medical Holdings, a California-based company with hospitals and clinics in Texas, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania.

In response to the attack, Prospect Medical Holdings took its systems offline and initiated an investigation with the assistance of third-party cybersecurity specialists.

“Our computer systems are down with the outage affecting all Waterbury Health inpatient and outpatient operations,” Prospect Medical’s hospital in Waterbury, Connecticut, posted on its Facebook page on Friday.

The company also said it was in the process of reevaluating its downtime capabilities and might have to reschedule certain appointments. It added that affected patients will be contacted accordingly.

“The impact on healthcare, already strained under the weight of the ongoing global health crisis, has immediate and far-reaching consequences on human lives,” commented Dasera CEO, Ani Chaudhuri.

“Moreover, the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the digital transformation in healthcare, pushing many providers to adopt cloud technologies quickly, often without the opportunity to implement robust security measures.”

In fact, the severity of the attack prompted primary care services to remain closed on Friday while security experts worked to assess the extent of the damage and find a resolution.

“While our investigation continues, we are focused on addressing the pressing needs of our patients as we work diligently to return to normal operations as quickly as possible,” Prospect Medical Holdings said in a statement.

Read more on similar attacks: Phishing Top Threat to US Healthcare

As the investigation continues, the FBI and other law enforcement agencies are collaborating with the victim entities to identify the perpetrators and secure data.

“We continue to encourage anyone who thinks they are a victim of this incident to report to or your local FBI field office,” the Bureau said in a statement on Friday.

In the aftermath of this widespread cyber-attack on hospital computer systems, the US healthcare sector faces critical challenges as authorities work to restore normal operations and bring the perpetrators to justice.

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