Compliance Management, Government Regulations

Michigan medical practice folds after ransomware attack

A Battle Creek, Mich. medical practice is being forced to shut its doors after cyberattackers wiped out its files when the firm refused to pay a ransom.

Brookside ENT and Hearing Center’s Dr. William Scalf told the center was hit with ransomware which locked up its files and presented the practice with a $6,500 ransom demand. Scalf and his partner Dr. John Bizon did not believe their files would be released so they refused to pony up the money.

As a result, reported, the attackers wiped all the office files including appointment schedules, payment and patient information. Faced with the daunting task of rebuilding their practice’s database from scratch the two doctors instead decided to retire.

Until the office closes on April 30 its staff is referring patients to other practices.

While the FBI does not condone the practice of paying a ransom and the majority of those so hit do not pay, there have been several incidents lately where the victim’s have given in and paid in order to get back into business as quickly and cheaply as possible. The Delaware Guidance Services, Jackson County, Ga. and Columbia Surgical Specialists all succumbed to ransomware attacks and paid in the last two months.

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