Recently, Hackensack Meridian Health, the largest hospital in New Jersey, announced that a ransomware attack disrupted its network and IT staff decided to decrypt the files by paying the ransom. Hackensack Meridian operates 17 acute care and specialty hospitals, as well as psychiatric institution carrier clinics, nursing homes, and outpatient centers. Its hospitals include Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack, Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, and Kennedy Medical Center in Edison.
The attack forced the hospital to reschedule non-emergency surgery. The company said there was no indication that any patient information would be accessed or leaked without authorization. The main clinical systems of its network have been restored and information technology experts are working to bring all of their applications online.
After the incident, the hospital has quickly notified the FBI and other authorities and talked to cybersecurity and forensic experts. At this time, we don’t know the specific details of ransomware and how attackers can disrupt hospital networks. The hospital did not disclose the exact amount of ransom paid but said it had insurance coverage for such emergencies.