Lovelace Health System sees continued impact after ransomware attack | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware

NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – Fallout continues for a major New Mexico medical provider nearly a week after a cyber-attack. Lovelace’s computer systems have come to a standstill and the provider is still canceling appointments and diverting some patient care.

On Wednesday, Lovelace announced their Heart Hospital of New Mexico at Lovelace Medical Center and Lovelace Women’s Hospital in Albuquerque will stop diverting patients starting on Thursday. However, they’re still facing some major issues with ICU and critical care patients at most facilities.

“This is a really big deal and I think we need to make sure we never downplay the importance that these hospitals play. There are no redundancies in our healthcare system. We have a healthcare system that’s overwhelmed. If you take a major player offline for a week or two weeks, it just further backlogs things,” said President of the Greater Albuquerque Medical Association, Dr. Nathaniel Roybal.

Dr. Roybal, a retina specialist, has used Lovelace’s facilities in the past for surgeries. Since Thanksgiving, Lovelace’s six hospitals and a handful of clinics have been forced to delay hundreds of appointments and non-emergency procedures due to the attack.

The cyber-attack targeted Lovelace’s parent company, Ardent Health Services, forcing their entire network offline. On Wednesday, Lovelace said it will continue to divert patients away from its main downtown medical center as the company works to restore its computer systems.

Dr. Roybal said the attack only exacerbates delays across New Mexico’s under-resourced medical system.“Any time you go after health care, you’re going after the lives of thousands of people. It really is not a joking matter. It needs to be taken incredibly seriously. This is a type of terror that needs to be resolved and prosecuted to the maximal extent,” said Dr. Roybal.

KRQE asked Lovelace on Wednesday if they knew how many people had been affected or delayed by the attack. They said they’re unable to gauge that number.


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