Several media outlets are reporting that Pennsylvania-based Universal Health Services (UHS) was the target of a ransomware attack over the weekend.
“The IT Network across Universal Health Services (UHS) facilities is currently offline, due to an IT security issue. We implement extensive IT security protocols and are working diligently with our IT security partners to restore IT operations as quickly as possible,” a statement from Universal Health Services said. “In the meantime, our facilities are using their established back-up processes including offline documentation methods. Patient care continues to be delivered safely and effectively. No patient or employee data appears to have been accessed, copied or misused.”
NBC News reported that some UHS hospitals resorted to filing patient information using pen and paper because of the attack. On Reddit and Twitter, there were posts of UHS facilities redirecting ambulances to other nearby hospitals. “When the attack happened multiple antivirus programs were disabled by the attack and hard drives just lit up with activity,” says one of those posts.
If UHS was the victim of a ransomware attack, it wouldn’t be the first time a healthcare provider has been the target of a cyberattack. On September 9th, Düsseldorf University Hospital in Germany sent a patient to a hospital 19 miles away after hackers compromised their IT systems in a ransomware attack. The patient died while doctors tried to transfer her to the other hospital.
“One of the nation’s largest and most respected providers of hospital and health care services, Universal Health Services Inc. has built an impressive record of achievement and performance,” according to a news release regarding founder Alan B. Miller’s plans to step down as CEO in January 2021. “Growing steadily since our inception in 1979 into an esteemed Fortune 500 corporation, annual revenues were $11.4 billion for 2019. In 2020, UHS was again recognized as one of the World’s Most Admired Companies by Fortune; ranked #281 on the Fortune 500; and listed #330 in Forbes ranking of U.S.’ Largest Public Companies.”
“Our operating philosophy is as effective today as it was 40 years ago, enabling us to provide exceptional care to our patients. Our strategy includes building or acquiring hospitals in rapidly growing markets, investing in the people and equipment needed to allow each facility to excel, and becoming the leading healthcare provider in each community we serve,” it continued.
“Headquartered in King of Prussia, PA, UHS has approximately 90,000 employees and through its subsidiaries operates 26 acute care hospitals, 330 behavioral health facilities, 41 outpatient facilities and ambulatory care access points, an insurance offering, a physician network and various related services located in 37 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom. It acts as the advisor to Universal Health Realty Income Trust, a real estate investment trust,” the release added.
For additional information on the company, visit uhsinc.com.
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