FBI in­ves­ti­gat­ing com­puter virus

The Avenue News - - Front Page - By DAN BALD­WIN dbald­win@ches­pub.com

The Fed­eral Bu­reau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion is in­ves­ti­gat­ing a com­puter virus that shut down MedS­tar Health Inc. on Monday, March 28.

MedS­tar, which has 10 hos­pi­tals in the Mary­landWash­ing­ton, D.C., area in­clud­ing MedS­tar Franklin Square Med­i­cal Cen­ter, have re­mained open and func­tion­ing, but with­out its elec­tronic records sys­tems.

“The FBI is aware of the in­ci­dent and is look­ing into the na­ture and scope of the mat­ter,” the FBI Bal­ti­more Field Of­fice, which is the lead for the FBI on the

in­ves­ti­ga­tion, said in a state­ment.

The com­puter virus par­a­lyzed the daily op­er­a­tions of MedS­tar hos­pi­tals as pa­tients were not able to sched­ule ap­point­ments, and staff were locked out of their email ac­counts.

“Early [Monday] morn­ing, MedS­tar Health’s IT sys­tem was af­fected by a virus that pre­vents cer­tain users from log­ging-in to our sys­tem,” MedS­tar said in a state­ment. “MedS­tar acted quickly with a de­ci­sion to take down all sys­tem in­ter­faces to pre­vent the virus from spread­ing through­out the or­ga­ni­za­tion. We are work­ing with our IT and Cy­ber-se­cu­rity part­ners to fully as­sess and ad­dress the sit­u­a­tion.”

“Cur­rently, all of our clin­i­cal fa­cil­i­ties re­main open and func­tion­ing,” of­fi­cials added. “We have no ev­i­dence that in­for­ma­tion has been com­pro­mised. The or­ga­ni­za­tion has moved to back-up sys­tems pa­per trans­ac­tions where nec­es­sary.”

The cy­ber at­tack forced the hos­pi­tal chain to rely on us­ing pa­per doc­u­ments and backup com­puter sys­tems. De­spite the lack of com­put­ers, pa­tients did not get a de­lay in their med­i­cal treat­ment as all hos­pi­tals re­mained open.

“Net­works tem­po­rar­ily shut down to pre­vent virus spread. We have no ev­i­dence of com­pro­mised in­for­ma­tion. All fa­cil­i­ties re­main open,” MedS­tar Franklin Square said in a tweet on Monday.

MedS­tar Franklin Square Med­i­cal Cen­ter

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