The FBI is investigating a computer hack and a possible ransom demand at Baltimore area MedStar hospital, according to sources familiar with the incident.
Because of this situation, staff at the affected locations cannot get into their computers, leaving personnel to conduct business with pen and paper.
FBI Media Coordinator Dave Fitz confirmed that the agency is assisting with the investigation, however Fitz could not confirm at this time that a ransom demand has been made, nor could he say how many locations are affected.
Also undetermined at this time is whether or not patient information has been breached.
Several attempts to reach a spokesperson for MedStar Health have been unsuccessful, however the Post-Examiner has learned a press release is in the works. We will update this story as more information becomes available.
Sources tell the Los Angeles Post-Examiner that all Baltimore and Washington D.C. locations of MedStar Health have been affected by a virus attack. This includes Medstar Washington Hospital Center where, we are told, they cannot access any records for patient appointments. The following statement was released by MedStar Health:
“Early this morning, MedStar Health’s IT system was affected by a virus that prevents certain users from logging-in to our system. MedStar acted quickly with a decision to take down all system interfaces to prevent the virus from spreading throughout the organization. We are working with our IT and Cyber-security partners to fully assess and address the situation.
“Currently, all of our clinical facilities remain open and functioning. We have no evidence that information has been compromised. The organization has moved to back-up systems paper transactions where necessary.”
It has been reported in the Washington Post that the hack has affected all MedStar facilities across the country, including those on the West Coast.
Anthony C. Hayes is an actor, author, raconteur, rapscallion and bon vivant. A former reporter at The Washington Herald and an occasional contributor to the Voice of Baltimore, Tony’s poetry, humor and prose have also been featured in Smile, Hon, You’re in Baltimore; Magic Octopus Magazine; Destination Maryland, and Tales of Blood and Roses.