Universal Health Services Ransomware Attack Cost $67 Million in 2020

HIPAA Journal

Steve Alder

2020 was a particularly bad year for healthcare industry ransomware attacks, with one of the worst suffered by the King of Prussia, PA-based Fortune 500 healthcare system, Universal Health Services (UHS).

UHS, which operates 400 hospitals and behavioral health facilities in the United States and United Kingdom, suffered a cyberattack in September 2020 that wiped out all of its IT systems, affecting its hospitals and other healthcare facilities across the country.

The phone system was taken out of action, and without access to computers and electronic health records, employees had to resort to pen and paper to record patient information. In the early hours after the attack occurred, the health system diverted ambulances to alternative facilities and some elective procedures were either postponed or diverted to competitors. Patients reported delays receiving test results while UHS recovered from the attack.

UHS worked fast to...

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