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LA Hospital Held Ransom for Over $16,000

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A California hospital recently paid a ransom of almost $17,000 in bitcoins after being hit with ransomware that took hospital operations back to a veritable stone age.

When the attack occurred on February 5, the Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center in Los Angeles, California immediately informed IT security and law enforcement agencies.  While their network was down though, the hospital had to go back to days of phone calls, fax machines and writing on paper.  Given the notoriety of doctors' handwriting, that might have been the most difficult adjustment.

Communications and operations having become bogged down without the use of their computers, the hospital decided the quickest and most cost effective way to get back to business as usual was to pay up.  They paid a ransom of 40 bitcoins, or $16,664, received the decryption key and got their systems back up and running.

Most ransoms from ransomware ask for around $500.  With the success of this ransomware attack you can expect to see more high profile and high dollar ransoms in the future.