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UnitedHealth Rebuilds Halted Services Following Ransomware Attack | #ransomware | #cybercrime


Last month, a cyberattack from the ALPHV ransomware gang crippled UnitedHealth’s services, causing its subsidiary Change Healthcare to disconnect more than 100 of its systems. Now, the company is slowly starting to bring these systems back online.

Pharmacy claims and payments were brought back Thursday, and electronic payments will resume late next week on March 15, The Wall Street Journal reports. UnitedHealth will start testing its medical claims systems again on March 18, and then begin to slowly bring back the rest of its services afterward.

“It’s a combination of doing some development and what I would call rebuilding from safe environments, and some situations where we are remediating and decontaminating the infected code,” UnitedHealth President and COO Dirk McMahon told the outlet.

McMahon said that some current workarounds exist, and encouraged providers to use them while UnitedHealth tries to make its systems faster.

While the attack inevitably impacts patients who urgently need medical care, it also impacts healthcare providers’ financial situations. UnitedHealth’s Optum subsidiary is offering “last resort” loans as well as other types of temporary funding to tide providers over until all its issues can be resolved.

Earlier this week, reports swirled that UnitedHealth may have paid a $22 million bitcoin ransom to ALPHV, also known as Blackcat, after the ransomware group swiped 4TB (4,000 GB) of Change Healthcare data. McMahon declined to comment on the issue in an interview with the Journal.

“We’re working closely with law enforcement, and this is an ongoing investigation,” McMahon said.



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