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HSHS system outage caused by ‘cybersecurity incident’ | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware

DECATUR — Hospital Sisters Health System continues to recover after a massive operating system outage caused by what its CEO confirmed Friday was a “cybersecurity incident.” 


HSHS, which runs St. Mary’s Hospital in Decatur, St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital in Effingham, Good Shepherd Hospital in Shelbyville and HSHS St. John’s Hospital in Springfield, began to experience the outage early Sunday. Most communications systems and hospital and clinic operations were affected, although the health system said its staff efficiently executed the plan for such situations. 

It is not clear whether confidential patient information has been compromised.  HSHS President and CEO Damond Boatwright said an investigation into the scope and impact of the breach was ongoing. 

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“I am relieved to report we are making progress,” he said, in a video the health system posted online Friday night. “We are bringing back critical systems and have restored many of our internal communications applications, like email and messaging.” 

The hospital system’s information technology staff and “outside experts” were laboring nonstop to restore the remaining services, he said. 

Friday’s message also marked the health system’s first indication as to the cause of the outage: “Based on our findings, we can confirm this was the result of a cybersecurity incident,” Boatwright said, adding that more information would be released as it becomes available. 

St. Mary's Hospital Emergency Sign

An emergency sign at HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital is shown in this 2022 file photo. 

He said the health system was working with law enforcement. An FBI spokeswoman previously said the agency would not confirm or deny whether it was involved in an investigation. 

“Your patience and understanding mean the world to us,” Boatwright said. “Please know our top priority is protecting patient safety and supporting our colleagues so they can take care of the patients we serve.” 

The health system said further updates would be provided at hshsupdates.org. 


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