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Ransomware Wreaking Havoc in American Hospitals

Last month, the Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center in Los Angeles declared a state of emergency when hackers took its data hostage. The two-week standoff ultimately ended with the institution paying a $17,000 ransom. But for other hospitals in the United States and Canada, the troubles were just beginning.


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In the past two weeks, ransomware viruses have placed two other hospitals—one in Kentucky and one in Ottawa, Ontario—under siege. Ransomware is a form of malicious code that blocks owners from their own data by encrypting them with a key solely belonging to the hackers and deleting its original copies. The Kentucky attack is ongoing, while the one in Ottawa ended without any harm induced or ransom paid.

Ransomware attacks will “wreak havoc on America’s critical infrastructure,” warns a report from the Institute for Critical Institute Technology (ICIT) , a nonprofit examining the cybersecurity of public and private infrastructure. “Ransomware is less about technological sophistication and more about exploitation of the human element,” says the report.

I wonder why ransomware is becoming a problem now as opposed to before now. 

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