News Headlines Article

Alvarado hospital fighting cyber attack
San Diego Union-Tribune

Alvarado Hospital Medical Center in San Diego is among the growing number of health care facilities nationwide coping with the effects of a malicious software attack.

Hospital spokeswoman Laura Gilbert confirmed this week that Alvarado is “resolving a malware disruption” but declined to specify which systems are affected at the 306-bed College-area facility just south of Interstate 8.

Hospitals are increasingly finding themselves under threat of “ransomware” attacks which hold critical records hostage until a ransom amount is paid. Word leaked out last week that Prime Healthcare Services, which owns Alvarado and 41 other hospitals across 14 states, detected malicious software infections at two of its California facilities — Chino Valley Medical Center and Desert Valley Hospital in Victorville — on Mar. 18. In statements to the Ars Technica technology website the company said that it was able to recover its computer systems without paying a ransom and that efforts to deal with the attacks caused disruptions at some of its other hospitals. Prime declined to say Thursday whether the current situation at Alvarado is a separate infection or a consequence of its malware-fighting efforts at the two northern facilities.