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Healthcare giant UHS hit by ransomware attack, sources say

Universal Health Services, one of the largest healthcare providers in the U.S ., hit hard by a ransomware attack.

The attack collision UHS structures early on Sunday morning, according to two people with direct knowledge of the incident, locking computers and phone systems at various UHS equipment across the country, including in California and Florida.

One of the people said the computer screens varied with text that invoked the “shadow universe,” consistent with the Ryuk ransomware.” Everyone was told to turn off all the computers and not to turn them on again ,” the person or persons said.” We were told it will be days before the computers are up again .”

It’s not immediately known what effect the ransomware attack is having on patient care, or how widespread the issue is.

UHS wrote the following statement on Monday, saying its IT network” is currently offline, due to an IT protection controversy .”

” We implement substantial IT certificate protocols and are working diligently with our IT protection partners to restore IT operations as speedily as possible. In the meantime, our facilities are using their established back-up process including offline documentation methods. Patient care continues to be delivered safely and efficiently ,” the statement said.

” No patient or employee data appears to have been accessed, copied or otherwise jeopardized ,” it added.

An executive who oversees cybersecurity at another U.S. infirmary organization, who queried not to be mentioned as they were not authorized to speak to the press, told TechCrunch that case medical data is” likely safe” as UHS relies on Cerner, a healthcare engineering firm, to handle its patients’ electronic health records.

Jane Crawford, a spokesperson for UHS, did not comment further when reached by TechCrunch.

UHS has 400 infirmaries and healthcare equipment in the U.S. and the U.K ., and provides millions of patients each year.

The Ryuk ransomware is linked to a Russian cybercrime group, known as Wizard Spider, according to security house Crowdstrike. Ryuk’s hustlers are known to go” big game chase” and have previously targeted massive establishments, including shipping monstrous Pitney Bowes and the U.S. Coast Guard.

Some ransomware adventurers said earlier this year that they would not attack health organizations and infirmaries during the COVID-1 9 pandemic, but Ryuk’s operators did not.

Last week, police in Germany launched a murder investigation after the death of a woman, who was diverted to another hospice following a ransomware attack.

We’ll have more on the UHS incident as we get it.

Updated with a brief statement from UHS.

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