SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — In a letter to patients on Monday, Scripps Health CEO Chris Van Gorder said a cyberattack this month that crippled the hospital system's network was the result of a ransomware attack.
Van Gorder said the system has remained tight-lipped about the attack because, "in our current situation, openly sharing the details of the work we have been doing puts Scripps at an increased risk of coming under further attack, and of not being able to restore our systems safely and as quickly as possible for you."
The letter continued to say that "other attackers" are using what is being reported in the media "to send scam communications to our organization."
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"I know that, for some of you, the reasons why we haven’t provided more frequent updates may not matter. But it was important for me to share and assure you that our patients’, employees’, and physicians’ safety and security are our constant guides," Van Gorder's letter stated.
The hospital system has yet to say who was responsible for the attack and whether patient records were compromised.
After the cyberattack on May 1, Scripps Health reported the incident to federal law enforcement, and IT workers, federal partners, and consultants are "literally working around the clock to restore our systems," according to Van Gorder.
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Scripps Health has access to patient medical history once again and the system's internal call center capacity has been increased to answer questions from patients. The system anticipates having its electronic health records back online in the latter part of this week, which will include the ability for patients to log into their MyScripps accounts, Van Gorder said.
Last week, the hospital system restored access to its website, though some features were still being worked on and were not ready to use. Multiple sources inside Scripps Health told ABC 10News that they now have access to "read-only" medical records dated before May 1.
The cyberattack left Scripps Health unable to access critical information after the hospital system was forced to take "a significant portion of our network offline" in response.