New Jersey hospitals were hit by cyberattacks

A ransomware attack hit the computer networks of two hospitals in New Jersey on Thanksgiving. This attack also hit sister hospitals across the country. A Hackensack Meridian Health System spokesman, Chiara Marababol, said that both Pascack Valley Medical Center in Westwood and Mountainside Medical Center in Montclair have set up plans to deal with the attack.

A third-party investigative advisor is still looking into what the attack was. The healthcare company took both facilities’ networks offline, meaning no one could access its business servers, software, the internet, or clinical programs.

Although they are on different networks, the attack doesn’t touch other Hackensack Meridian Health facilities.

“We continue to care for patients in both of our ERs. However, we have asked our local EMS systems to temporarily divert patients needing emergency care to other area facilities while we address our system issues,” said Marababol. “This ensures critically ill patients have immediate access to the highest level of care as we work to bring our systems back online.”

New Jersey hospitals were hit by cyberattacks

Some elective treatments and surgeries that aren’t needed right away are being moved around. At this point, Marababol said they don’t know how much health or cash information about patients may have been stolen in the cyberattack.

What the security situation meant for Staff at the hospitals who did not want to be named told The Daily Voice that the event impacted radiology, scheduling, billing, and lab work, making it necessary for staff to make reports on paper.

A similar statement sent to KVII TV said that the problem may have also hit some of the 37 hospitals owned by Ardent Health Services, the parent company of Hackensack Meridian Health. In Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas, Ardent owns hospitals.

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Medical Center at Mountainside

Hackensack Meridian had to pay a ransom in 2019 to stop a cyberattack on 17 sites. The attack happened at Mountainside Medical Center (Ardent Health Services). The company didn’t say how much it paid.

A hack at CentraState Medical Center in Freehold Township showed that in December 2022, the personal information of 617,000 patients was stolen from an old database. “Unauthorized person” got a copy of a database that had patient information saved in the past. There was no information about money or payments kept in the files.

 

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