Ascension St John Confirms Ransomware Attack, Does Not Know When Systems Will Be Back Up | #ransomware | #cybercrime

Ascension St. John in Tulsa says they aren’t sure when their systems will be back up after a ransomware attack on their hospital and clinics.

That attack has caused problems in hospitals in nearly a dozen states across the country.

Ascension says all of their medical centers in Oklahoma are still open but that some emergency patients could be diverted to different local hospitals.

Ascension says the ransomware attack started last Wednesday, and so far, it’s affected hospitals in eleven states, including Oklahoma.

Ascension says doctors’ appointments and surgeries are still going on as planned, but they are reaching out to some patients who need to reschedule.

Some appointments and walk-in patients at their urgent care centers are also facing delays.

Some Ascension pharmacies are also closed, so patients should bring their prescription number or prescription bottle with them when getting them filled and to appointments.

Ascension says their emergency rooms are still open and taking walk-in patients, but some ambulance patients are being diverted to other area hospitals instead.

Ascension says they are looking into whether personal health information was impacted as part of this attack.

A long-time employee tells News On 6 that the phones and computers do not work, so department directors are using walkie-talkies to communicate.

The hospital says because charts and orders need to be documented manually by hand, people are most likely going to be waiting longer for their visits and appointments.

Dr. Christopher Freeze, a cyber-security expert who works as an Assistant Professor of Cybersecurity at OU-Tulsa, who is not affiliated with the hospital, says hospitals are increasingly being hit with ransomware attacks.

He says in cases like this, the investigation will probably take a while.

“In this case, it’s going to be digital forensics, digital evidence,” said Freeze. “They’re going to need to understand, through collection and analysis of computer logs and computer data, what exactly happened. When did it take place, how extensive it is.”

Ascension says they are still investigating with cybersecurity experts and federal law enforcement and will continue to provide updates.

Click here for updates from Oklahoma Ascension medical centers.

Click here for nationwide Ascension updates.

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