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Park DuValle Health Suffers Second Ransomware Attack

Park DuValle Community Health Center (PDCHC) initially suffered a ransomware attack in April of this year but was able to restore its systems without paying the ransom. It was able to do so through the use of its secure backups. Even with the backups, it took almost three weeks to completely recover its files. The second attack, which occurred on June 7th, 2019, was much worse. The second attack encrypted the entirety of their databases. Included were four of their offsite clinic locations. This forced PDCHC to rely on patients’ memory for appointment scheduling, previous treatments, medications, allergies, and medical history. In the newest attack, the decision to pay the ransom of six bitcoins, approximately $70,000, was made due to the severity of the encryption. PDCHC also contacted the FBI and is currently working with their information technology specialists on how to handle this attack. Attackers use Bitcoin ransoms because it is very difficult to track where that money goes.

Analyst Notes

Organizations are encouraged to have secure backups of their entire systems, as illustrated by the first attack response. Users are also suggested to obtain additional training on how to recognize malicious emails and websites and to not interact with them. Antivirus and malware systems should be set to automatically update and to scan systems on a regular schedule.