Cyber attack on Enloe Medical Center

UPDATE: Action News Now spoke with a cybersecurity expert Friday afternoon about Enloe's network infrastructure being attacked.

Posted: Jan 2, 2020 11:34 PM
Updated: Jan 3, 2020 4:41 PM

UPDATE 4:34 p.m. Friday, January 3, 2020 - Action News Now spoke with a cybersecurity expert Friday afternoon about Enloe's network infrastructure being attacked.

"Ransomware attacks are pretty much standard about how they come about," Ethical Hacker Will Caput said. "It's a fishing email, someone will click on it, it will unload a payload into the network and propagate throughout the network. The attacks are more like encrypting everything on the drive, they are not taking information. It's mainly just an infection and a money grab. You plan for this type of attack, you do that by having a plan in place and train employees. I foresee that we're going to have a lot of these attacks, targeting hospitals."

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UPDATE 11:11 a.m. Friday, January 3, 2020 - Enloe Medical Center has announced that its network infrastructure was attacked on Thursday evening.

The network infrastructure was attacked with what is referred to as ransomware. Essentially, Enloe said the data on the network was encrypted in a way that it was not immediately accessible by the hospital.

Enloe IT Security notified local law enforcement and the FBI. According to Enloe's IT Security consultant, over 500 similar attacks were reported across the nation in 2019. The focus seems to be on midsize businesses and municipalities.

“Our caregivers did an incredible job responding to the cybersecurity incident and are doing everything possible to return our core systems to functionality, protect patient information, and partner with law enforcement agencies, including the FBI,” said Jolene Francis, Enloe’s director of Advancement & Communications. “Well planned and frequently practiced back-up protocols ensure that patient care remains uninterrupted as we work toward restoring affected systems.”

Officials said the cyber incident affected hospital and Enloe clinic phone systems, which have since been partially restored.

“The privacy and security of information in our possession is one of the hospital's highest priorities, and we have strict security protocols in place to protect the information in our care,” added Kevin Woodward, Enloe’s chief financial officer. “Upon learning of this incident, we immediately took steps to restore critical operating systems and ensure the security of our network. At this point in time, we have no indication or evidence that suggests patient medical data has been compromised.”

This is a developing story. Action News Now is working to learn more information.

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UPDATE 9:29 a.m. Friday, January 3, 2020 - Enloe Medical Center experienced a computer outage that started Thursday night.

There is no word on when the problems will be resolved. Action News Now is working to learn more information.

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CHICO, Calif. - A spokeswoman for Enloe told Action News Now the hospital is experiencing a system outage.

The system went out earlier in the night and affected the phone system as well, according to the spokeswoman.

With a practiced back-up plan being acted out, patient care is unaffected.

As of 11 p.m., the phone system was slowly coming back up and they are working to learn more information on what happened to cause the outage.

There was no estimated time for the return of the systems but they are working on restoration.

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