Philadelphia Health System Back Online After Cyberattack

Though Temple University Health System officials would not comment on the exact nature of the August cyberincident, they confirmed that email, patient scheduling and other functions were back to normal.

by Harold Brubaker, The Philadelphia Inquirer / September 12, 2019
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(TNS) — Hackers disrupted Temple University Health System’s computer systems in late August, disabling the North Philadelphia health care provider’s email, patient scheduling and other functions.

The problem started late on Aug. 28, health system spokesman Jeremy Walter said in a statement. “Beginning in the early hours of Friday morning, August 30, the impact was being reversed, and affected systems are back on-line,” he said.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health declined to comment.

A spokesperson for the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses & Allied Professions, which represents 2,300 Temple University Hospital employees, said they saw little impact from the attack on Temple’s systems.

KYW radio reported the cyberattack on Sept. 2.

“It just goes to show, even at places that have really superb cybersecurity there’s vulnerability. I think it really does point out how vigilant places need to be,” Larry Kaiser, the health system’s chief executive, said Tuesday in an interview about his departure from that position at the end of this month.

Asked if it was a ransomware attack, Kaiser said he couldn’t comment.

Ransomware software locks up files on computers or servers with the goal of making them inaccessible. School districts and local state governments have become popular targets of such attacks. At least 70 local and state governments have been affected by ransomware this year, according to researchers at Barracuda, an IT security company. Municipalities in Florida and Texas, and Baltimore, where all affected.

©2019 The Philadelphia Inquirer. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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