A health care provider in the United States has come under a cyber attack, disrupting its computers and causing chaos in medical facilities in several states across the country.
The ransomware attack happened at California-based Prospect Medical Holdings, Inc. on Thursday, which manages hospitals and clinics in Texas, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania.
"Prospect Medical Holdings, Inc. recently experienced a data security incident that has disrupted our operations," the company said in a statement, adding, "Upon learning of this, we took our systems offline to protect them and launched an investigation with the help of third-party cybersecurity specialists.”
“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," it noted.
Thursday’s data security incident forced the hospitals’ emergency rooms in several states to close and patients were diverted to other nearby medical centers.
Elective surgeries, outpatient appointments, blood drives and other services were suspended and ambulances were also redirected.
Many primary care services remained closed on Friday as security experts worked to determine the extent of the problem and resolve it.
Over the past months, a massive hacking campaign has been carried out across the United States, affecting major universities and government institutions. The hackers are exerting pressure on federal officials who have vowed to put an end to the scourge of ransomware attacks that have disrupted schools, hospitals and local governments across the States.
Back in June, several Federal Government agencies in the United States, including the Department of Energy, were targeted in a global campaign of cyberattacks exploiting a vulnerability in the widely used software MOVEit Transfer.
Hackers have been exploiting a flaw in MOVEit that companies and agencies use to transfer data since late May. Progress Software, the US-based developer of the software, says it discovered a new vulnerability in the software that “could be exploited by a bad actor.”
MOVEit Transfer is a popular tool used by organizations to share sensitive information with partners or customers.