Heathcare giant Ascension confirms ransomware attack

Ascension’s ambulance services and the patient appointment system were affected.

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US private healthcare giant Ascension has confirmed a ransomware attack on its network, which disrupted its ambulance services and the patient appointment system.

While the hospitals and facilities are open and are providing care, the e-health records systems and appointments to book tests, procedures, and medications are still unavailable.

The company is still unable to ascertain if any sensitive information was accessed by the attackers, it is liaising with cybersecurity experts to assist in restoration of its systems and ascertain the damage.

Ascension  has shared “While our restoration work continues in earnest, our primary focus is on restoring systems as safely as possible and, as such, we expect this process will take time to complete.”

The attack on Ascension, as per CNN reports, was allegedly carried out by the Black Basta gang, a Russia-based Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS) operator. Subsequently, the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has released an advisory on the gang in coordination with other federal agencies.

There has been an increase in sophisticated attacks by ransomware gangs on the healthcare sector, and this is a concerning trend.  Over the last few months, several attacks have occurred on the US healthcare sector.