GREENFIELD — Hancock Health fell victim to a cyber attack Thursday, with a hacker demanding Bitcoin to relinquish control of part of the hospital’s computer system.

Friday afternoon, Hancock Health CEO Steve Long confirmed the technical issues — hospital staff were locked out of certain systems — were the result of a ransomware attack from an unnamed hacker who “attempted to shut down (Hancock Health’s) operations.”

A message asking for Bitcoin, a virtual currency often used to make anonymous transactions, popped up on a hospital computer screen Thursday night, Long said.

IT personnel shut down the hospital’s system in order to prevent the hacker from gaining any further access, Long said.

Hospital leaders don’t believe any personal medical information has been compromised, Long said. Most patients likely didn’t notice there was a problem, nor did the attack significantly impact patient care, he said.

Hospital administrators were alerted to the issue about 9:30 p.m. Thursday.

Long declined to disclose details of the attack, including how much ransom has been requested. The attack amounts to a “digital padlock,” restricting personnel access to parts of the health network’s computer systems, he said.

For the full story, see the Saturday edition of the Daily Reporter.

 

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Noelle Steele is editor of the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3232 or nsteele@greenfieldreporter.com.