Three hospitals had to temporarily close their doors to “all but the most critical new patients” following ransomware attacks.
“A criminal is limiting our ability to use our computer systems in exchange for an as-yet unknown payment,” said DCH Health System.
DCH runs the three stricken hospitals in the state of Alabama.
A cyber-security specialist said cyber criminal groups were becoming increasingly well organised with the use of ransomware.
Computers at the DCH Regional Medical Center in Tuscaloosa, Fayette Medical Center and Northport Medical Center were infected with ransomware. A DCH spokesperson said in a statement:
We will continue to divert any new admissions, other than those that are critical, to other facilities,
Ambulances in the locality have been directed to transport patients to alternative hospitals, where possible.
Outpatients with appointments at any of the affected hospitals have been advised to call before turning up for treatment. However, elective procedures and surgery already scheduled for 2 October were planned to go ahead.
It is not known what group or individual was responsible for the attack.