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Cyberattack Shuts Down Major Nationwide Hospital System

Universal Health Services (UHS), which operates hundreds of hospitals in the United States, said Monday its computer network shut down due to a security issue, marking possibly the largest cyberattack to date in the U.S.

by Jackson Cote, MassLive.com / October 9, 2020
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(TNS) — Universal Health Services (UHS), which operates hundreds of hospital locations in the United States, said Monday its computer network shut down due to a security issue, marking possibly the largest cyberattack to date in the U.S.

NBC News reported that UHS’s computer systems started to fail over the weekend, and some hospitals had to fill out patients' information with pen and paper.

In a statement released Monday, the company said it was implementing “extensive IT security protocols” and “working diligently” with security partners to restore its computer network as quickly as possible.

“In the meantime, our facilities are using their established back-up processes including offline documentation methods,” the statement said. “Patient care continues to be delivered safely and effectively.”

No patient or employee’s data appears to have been “accessed, copied or misused,” the company added.

One person familiar with UHS’s response to the IT security issue told NBC News the cyberattack “looks and smells like ransomware.”

UHS has roughly 400 locations, employs around 90,000 people and serves about 3.5 million patients a year in the United States and the United Kingdom.

The company operates six locations in Massachusetts including: Arbour Hospital in Boston; Arbour Counseling Services and Arbour Senior Care in Rockland; Fuller Hospital in South Attleboro; HRI Hospital in Brookline; and Pembroke Hospital in Pembroke.

©2020 MassLive.com, Springfield, Mass. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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