A ransomware attack on Spokane, Washington-based Columbia Surgical Specialists on Jan. 9 resulted in unauthorized access of medical records of almost 400,000 patients, the healthcare provider said in a press release. Although the FBI and security companies advise organizations not give in to hacker demands, the company paid almost $15,000 in ransom for a decryption key, arguing the health of their patients was more important, as surgeries were scheduled for that day.
“Yes, we paid $14,649.09. We received notice from the people that encrypted the files just a few hours before several patients were scheduled for surgeries, and they made it clear we would not have access to patient information until we paid a fee,” the firm said.
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