GBMC computer systems down due to ransomware

First it was Baltimore County Public Schools, now a major hospital has become the victim of a cyberattack.WBAL-TV 11 News confirmed a ransomware attack of Greater Baltimore Medical Center’s information technology systems.In a statement, hospital officials say they are able to maintain safe and effective care. However, patients are having a tough time calling doctors and getting information online.Some of GBMC’s doctors’ phone lines are down and access to patients’ medical portals are blocked.”It is clear that there was a real attack against GBMC and they are saying that their systems are down, yet is it also clear from GBMC statement that they are not panicking and they are well prepared to deal with this type of thing,” said Avi Rubin, director of Johns Hopkins Information Security Institute.The hospital issued a statement saying a ransomware incident has impacted the facility’s IT systems: “Although many of our systems are down, GBMC has robust processes in place to maintain safe and effective patient care. We are collectively responding in accordance with our well-planned process and policies for this type of event.” Cyber experts say medical facilities have been under attack for the past 10 years and have put protective and backup systems in place.”What’s really different about it nowadays is that the health care industry has gotten used to this. So they’ve got procedures and policies in place to handle it much better than they used to in the past,” Rubin said. “Medical facilities have put a lot of funding into their IT to get some anti ransomware packages and backups, so they are able to handle this a lot better.”The attackers may have sent notice through a fax machine. The note, obtained by the 11 News I-Team, advises facility and computers and servers are locked and private data has been downloaded. In a statement, GBMC officials say, “There is no evidence at this time that any patient information has been misused.”The ransomware note demands a response within three days. It provides contact instructions using the dark web.”One of those web sites is TOR, which is an anonymizer on the web so people can browse the web, anonymously,” Rubin said. “The TOR network was originally initiated as a defense department research project, yet it has now led to many different uses of the dark web as we know it.”While the Baltimore County Board of Education and GBMC are less than a mile apart on North Charles Street. So far, there’s no word on whether the two attacks might be connected.GBMC is working with outside experts and law enforcement. They consider the investigation in its early stages.Hospital officials said some procedures scheduled for Monday may have had to be postponed. They said those impacted have been contacted.

First it was Baltimore County Public Schools, now a major hospital has become the victim of a cyberattack.

WBAL-TV 11 News confirmed a ransomware attack of Greater Baltimore Medical Center’s information technology systems.

In a statement, hospital officials say they are able to maintain safe and effective care. However, patients are having a tough time calling doctors and getting information online.

Some of GBMC’s doctors’ phone lines are down and access to patients’ medical portals are blocked.

“It is clear that there was a real attack against GBMC and they are saying that their systems are down, yet is it also clear from GBMC statement that they are not panicking and they are well prepared to deal with this type of thing,” said Avi Rubin, director of Johns Hopkins Information Security Institute.

The hospital issued a statement saying a ransomware incident has impacted the facility’s IT systems: “Although many of our systems are down, GBMC has robust processes in place to maintain safe and effective patient care. We are collectively responding in accordance with our well-planned process and policies for this type of event.”

Cyber experts say medical facilities have been under attack for the past 10 years and have put protective and backup systems in place.

“What’s really different about it nowadays is that the health care industry has gotten used to this. So they’ve got procedures and policies in place to handle it much better than they used to in the past,” Rubin said. “Medical facilities have put a lot of funding into their IT to get some anti ransomware packages and backups, so they are able to handle this a lot better.”

The attackers may have sent notice through a fax machine. The note, obtained by the 11 News I-Team, advises facility and computers and servers are locked and private data has been downloaded.

In a statement, GBMC officials say, “There is no evidence at this time that any patient information has been misused.”

The ransomware note demands a response within three days. It provides contact instructions using the dark web.

“One of those web sites is TOR, which is an anonymizer on the web so people can browse the web, anonymously,” Rubin said. “The TOR network was originally initiated as a defense department research project, yet it has now led to many different uses of the dark web as we know it.”

While the Baltimore County Board of Education and GBMC are less than a mile apart on North Charles Street. So far, there’s no word on whether the two attacks might be connected.

GBMC is working with outside experts and law enforcement. They consider the investigation in its early stages.

Hospital officials said some procedures scheduled for Monday may have had to be postponed. They said those impacted have been contacted.