Hospitals confirm ransomware attack

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The Chatham-Kent Health Alliance and neighbouring hospital organizations in Windsor-Essex and Sarnia-Lambton have sensitive information that is being held hostage.

This according to a press release on behalf of the CKHA, Bluewater Health, Erie Shores HealthCare, Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare and Windsor Regional Hospital, and their shared service provider TransForm Shared Service Organization (TFSSO).

In a joint media release, not even sent to media organizations, but released on their own websites and on social media platforms, they admitted to being victims of a ransomware attack.

And there’s some sensitive data in the wrong hands.

“Working with leading cybersecurity experts, we have determined through our investigation that, unfortunately, certain patient, employee and professional staff data has been taken and there is the possibility that the actors responsible for this attack may publish some of the stolen data,” the release stated. “We continue to investigate to determine the exact data impacted, and any individuals whose data was affected by this cyberattack will be notified in accordance with the law.”

Personnel are working “around the clock” to restore systems, and officials hope to have more information on that work later tis week.

“We are working closely with law enforcement – including local police departments, Ontario Provincial Police, INTERPOL and FBI – and we have notified all relevant regulatory organizations including the Ontario Information and Privacy Commissioner,” the joint release stated.

The hospitals will continue to try to contact patients directly in advance if they have a scheduled appointment that needs to be rescheduled, officials said.

If patients do not need emergency care, they are asked to contact their primary care provider or visit a local clinic.

“We understand the impact this incident is having on members of our community, including patients and our employees and professional staff, and deeply apologize for the inconvenience this has caused. We want to thank everyone for their patience during this time,” officials said in the media release.

 

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