Chicago’s Lurie Children’s Hospital continues to struggle after a cyberattack disrupted its phones, email, and electronic records a week ago. ABC7 Chicago reported that the hospital is working with the FBI, as well as internal and external cybersecurity experts to investigate the attack and restore its network.
The ransomware used in the cyberattack has rendered hospital computers, phones, and internet unusable, necessitating workarounds for some families and medical providers.
Despite the disruption emergency services have remained unaffected, ABC7 said.
Dr. Andy Bernstein, a pediatrician at North Suburban Pediatrics in Evanston, said that Lurie Children’s Hospital had been communicating effectively with other pediatricians in its network to ensure patient care.
“We recognize the frustration of not having clarity on when this will be resolved. Our investigation remains ongoing and we are working around the clock to resolve this matter,” the hospital said in a statement.
According to Robin Berthier, a cybersecurity expert and CEO of Network Perception, told ABC7 it could take several weeks for the hospital to recover from the attack, which may cost hundreds of thousands of dollars per hour.
The length of recovery time depends on factors such as the size and complexity of the network and the organization’s pre-existing security plans.
Cybersecurity experts like Berthier and Jeremy Treister, president of CMIT Solutions, stated that hospitals should have robust ongoing security programs to protect against future attacks. Measures include ensuring proper password management, limiting access to servers, and educating employees about the importance of cybersecurity.
On Thursday, Lurie Children’s Hospital representatives confirmed in a press conference that the attack was executed by a “known criminal threat actor.”
“We take this matter very seriously, and have been working closely around the clock with outside and internal experts and in collaboration with law enforcement including the FBI,” said Medical Director Doctor Marcelo Malakooti. “This is an active and ongoing investigation.”