Universal Health Services' computer network will reportedly remain out of order for days after a massive ransomware attack.
Computer systems at the hospital network's 400-plus locations reportedly began failing over the weekend, forcing some workers to begin taking records by hand and even hand-labeling medications, nurses tell NBC News. Computers may remain out of service for days as the chain deals with what might be "one of the largest medical cyberattacks in United States history," NBC News reports.
Attacks starting early Sunday morning locked computers and phones at several UHS facilities, including those in California and Florida, people with direct knowledge of the incident tell TechCrunch. Mysterious messages referencing a "shadow universe," which reflects messaging from the Russian cybercrime group Ryuk, then began filling the screens, one person said. "Everyone was told to turn off all the computers and not to turn them on again. We were told it will be days before the computers are up again," the person said.
UHS said Monday its network was down due to an "IT security issue." The issue did not jeopardize patient care, and "no patient or employee data appears to have been accessed, copied, or otherwise compromised," the statement continued. An executive who manages cybersecurity at another major U.S. hospital system affirmed to TechCrunch patients' data was "likely safe."
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