Major U.S. hospital chain sees 'unprecedented,' 'absolutely massive' alleged ransomware attack

Nonprofit said attack impacted "some of our facilities."

Updated: October 7, 2022 - 2:05pm

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A reportedly major ransomware attack has affected one of the country's largest hospital chains in what one expert described as an "unprecedented" assault on the organization's IT systems. 

CommonSpirit Health, the second-largest nonprofit health chain in the United States, said in a statement on its website this week that it had "identified an IT security issue that is impacting some of our facilities."

"We have taken certain systems offline," the group said. "We are continuing to investigate this issue and follow existing protocols for system outages."

Though the statement appeared to suggest that the issue was not overtly severe, one expert told the Washington Post that the issue was for more significant than CommonSpirit's claims would indicate.

“The scope is perhaps unprecedented in terms of the health-care sector,” threat analyst Brett Callow told the newspaper. The hack, he said, was “absolutely massive."

CommonSpirit itself said it had "rescheduled some patient appointments" in light of the breach, while multiple facilities in the chain's network had reported various issues including scheduling delays and issues with ambulance dispatchment.

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