Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This


Hospital Back To Normal After Hackers Paid Off With $17,000 In Bitcoin

(Photo by Alexander Kirch via Shutterstock)
LAist relies on your reader support, not paywalls.
Freely accessible local news is vital. Please power our reporters and help keep us independent with a donation today.

A Hollywood hospital is back up and running after it paid off its hackers in Bitcoin.On February 5, Hollywood Presbyterian's computer network went down after a "ransomware" attack locked out the hospital's staff, asking for a password. It was originally reported that the hackers demanded $3.4 million to get the system unlocked. However, the hospital was able to get everything back up and running after paying off the hackers with $17,000 in—what else?—Bitcoin.

"The quickest and most efficient way to restore our systems and administrative functions was to pay the ransom and obtain the decryption key," hospital CEO Allen Stefanek told L.A. Weekly. "In the best interest of restoring normal operations, we did this."

While operations were slowed down since they had to resort to paper records and documents, and some patients were transferred, Stefanek told the Weekly that, "Patient care has not been compromised in any way."

The hospital was back up and running on Monday and the computers were said to be all clear of the malicious software. The FBI is currently investigating what is believed to be a random attack.