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Scripps Health: Outage due to malware in hospital system's network

Scripps Health
Posted at 5:45 PM, May 05, 2021

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — In a statement on Wednesday, Scripps Health said the cyberattack that crippled its systems on Saturday, and has left the system offline since, involved malware in the hospital system's network.

The impact of the cyberattack was reported on Saturday, forcing Scripps to take a "significant portion of our network offline as a proactive security measure," according to the statement.

Scripps Health has now said the outage was due to a "security incident involving malware on our computer networks."

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The outage has prevented patients from accessing their MyScripps profiles, but the system has said they are able to deliver patient care, "safely and effectively at our facilities, utilizing established back-up processes, including offline documentation methods. Our outpatient urgent care centers and Scripps HealthExpress locations and Emergency Departments remain open for patient care."

Scripps Health's full statement on Wednesday read as follows:

"On May 1, Scripps Health began experiencing a network outage that resulted in a disruption to our IT systems at our hospitals and facilities. Upon discovering the outage, we immediately initiated an investigation and took steps to contain the outage, including by taking a significant portion of our network offline as a proactive security measure. An independent cybersecurity firm was engaged to assist in our investigation and restoration efforts. While the investigation is ongoing and in the early stages, we have determined that the outage was due to a security incident involving malware on our computer networks. Scripps technical teams are working 24/7 to restore our systems as quickly and safely as possible, and in a manner that prioritizes our ability to provide patient care.

While this incident has resulted in operational disruptions at our hospitals and facilities, our clinical staff is trained to provide care in these types of situations, and are committed to doing so. Scripps Health physicians, nurses and staff are implementing workarounds to mitigate any disruptions and provide uninterrupted care to our patients.
As a result of this incident, we need to reschedule some patients’ appointments and are reaching out to them to do so. Patients who have appointments scheduled during the next several days and are unsure about their status may call 1-800-SCRIPPS for more information."

Scripps Health has not said whether patient records were breached during the cyberattack.

The hospital system also did not say when it expects the outage to be resolved.