Savannah hospital system experiences outage after ransomware attack

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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – The St. Joseph’s/Candler (SJ/C) hospital system in Savannah was the victim of a ransomware attack Thursday morning.

WSAV spoke with a patient who says all computers went down around 4 a.m., and nurses have been forced to keep track of medications with a pen and paper.

“They can’t see our MRIs — they can’t see our information. They have the medication in the drawers, thank God, but they have to enter it manually,” said the patient, who wished to remain anonymous. “They can’t go into the computer to find out what our meds are at what time.”

SJ/C officials say they became aware of “suspicious network activity” Thursday morning and took steps to immediately isolate their systems and notify law enforcement.

It’s unclear at this time if personal or health information was impacted.

A statement from SJ/C reads, in part:

Nothing is more important to us than continuing to provide the care our patients expect. Patient care operations continue at our facilities using established back-up processes and other downtime procedures. Our physicians, nurses and staff are trained to provide care in these types of situations and are committed to doing everything they can to mitigate disruption and provide uninterrupted care to our patients.
We thank our patients for their patience during this time and apologize for any delays they may experience as we continue to work diligently to address this situation. We will continue to provide updates as appropriate.

A similar attack happened to Las Vegas hospitals back in September 2020. The Wall Street Journal reports a group with ties to Eastern Europe has hacked more than 235 general hospitals and psychiatric facilities since 2018.

An SJ/C spokesperson says the Chatham County Police Department is investigating the cyber attack.

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