Figure 1.A Southern California hospital, the Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center, experienced a ransomware attack thatcrippled hospital services. (Image courtesy of CNN.)

Figure 1.A Southern California hospital, the Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center, experienced a ransomware attack thatcrippled hospital services. (Image courtesy of CNN.)

It was an attack on a hospital like no other, reported the news in February 2016. The Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center had been hacked. Its services were crippled. As emergency patients were diverted to other area hospitals, hospital administrators received an ominous message. Pay a ransom to get your hospital systems back. The hospital ultimately paid $17,000 worth of bitcoins. The FBI and the Los Angeles Police Department have yet to find the culprit.

The hospital attack brings to light just how vulnerable buildings and institutions are to hackers. For hospitals, it can cause a disruption of medical services that could include blocked access to patient records, laboratory results, surgery and critical patient information updates. The potential cost in lives and loss of public trust is on par…

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