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California hospital hacks reveal weak links in health cybersecurity
Sacramento Bee

For 10 days in February, the staff at Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center had to treat patients the old fashioned way with pen-and-paper forms, faxes and hand-delivered X-rays. Gone were many of the data-reliant, high-tech tools that have transformed medical care, according to local media reports.

The Los Angeles hospital had fallen victim to a ransomware attack – increasingly common network break-ins that encrypt all information in their path. When hospital computer systems freeze, the hackers offer to reverse the encryption in exchange for cash.

“It’s like if someone broke into your house and changed the locks on your doors and said, ‘If you give me money, I’ll give you the new key and everything will be just where you left it,’ ” said John Klassen, senior director of solutions marketing at Bay Area cybersecurity firm FireEye.

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