A suspected ransomware attack disrupted patient care at a large chain of hospitals and clinics operating in the United States and Britain, the latest in a series of cyberattacks on the health care system in recent months.
Universal Health Services said in a statement it suffered “an information technology security incident” on Sunday which “may result in temporary disruptions to certain aspects of our clinical and financial operations.”
UHS, which operates 26 acute care hospitals and other health facilities in the US and Britain, said acute care and behavioral health operations were “utilizing their established back-up processes including offline documentation methods.”
The cybersecurity blog BleepingComputer said the attack appeared to be using Ryuk, malware linked to North Korean hackers which encrypts computer systems until a ransom is paid.
One UHS employee told BleepingComputer that files were being renamed to include the .ryk extension used by Ryuk.
Employees discussing the attack