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Cyberattack hits multiple US hospitals; emergency rooms closed, ambulances rerouted

Typing on a computer. (Dreamstime/TNS)
August 04, 2023

A cyberattack has caused major disruptions at hospitals in multiple U.S. states, forcing emergency rooms to close and ambulances to be rerouted.

The attack targeted Calif.-based Prospect Medical Holdings, which has healthcare facilities in California, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Texas.

“Upon learning of this, we took our systems offline to protect them and launched an investigation with the help of third-party cybersecurity specialists,” the company said in a statement, according to The Associated Press. “While our investigation continues, we are focused on addressing the pressing needs of our patients as we work diligently to return to normal operations as quickly as possible.”

The Eastern Connecticut Health Network posted an urgent message on its website over the cyberattack, warning several services and locations would be closed “until further notice.”

“All Prospect Medical Holdings facilities are experiencing IT complications impacting some of our ECHN locations. The following services and locations will be closed until further notice: Center for Wound Healing; Elective surgeries; Evergreen Imaging Center; Gastroenterology appointments & procedures; Outpatient Laboratories (ECHN Diagnostics); Podiatry Clinic; Tolland Imaging Center; Urgent Care Center; Women’s Center for Wellness,” the message stated.

The attack on American healthcare facilities comes after a global cyberattack hit several U.S. federal government agencies, exploiting a vulnerability in a commonly used software, according to the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).

The United States Navy was one of the victims of a cyberattack conducted by a Chinese government hacking group discovered earlier this year by Microsoft, Secretary of the Navy Carlos Del Toro revealed.

According to CNBC, Del Toro said the Navy “has been impacted” by the cyberattacks that Microsoft said also involved installing a malicious computer code in telecommunications systems in Guam and other U.S. locations.

This was a breaking news story. The details were periodically updated as more information became available.