MedStar Health, the largest healthcare provider in the Maryland and Washington D.C. area, was forced to disable its computer network early on Monday, March 28, 2016, after discovering that a cybercriminal had infected several systems with Ransomware. The healthcare giant was forced to shut down its email and massive records database, adding to the growing concern over cyber security in hospitals around the country.
The MedStar Health data breach comes just weeks after hackers infiltrated the Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center and the Chino Valley Medical Center in California as well as Methodist Hospital in Kentucky. Currently, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is investigating the hack; however, MedStar officials claim that they have not found evidence that customers’ information was stolen. While the healthcare company claims that no information was stolen, it could be changing its optimistic outlook very soon as MedStar operates 10 hospitals and more than 250 outpatient facilities in the Washington D.C. area. The company treats hundreds of thousands of patients every year and employs more than 30,000 people.
The attorneys of Abbott Law Group are currently reviewing claims on behalf of those who believe their identity has been stolen as a result of the MedStar Health data breach, and are investigating the need for a MedStar Health class action lawsuit.
According to MedStar spokeswoman Ann Nickels, “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.” Currently, neither MedStar nor the FBI knows how long the company’s systems will remain offline, but the position does not look great. One employee of MedStar told the Washington Post that two other employees she spoke to saw a pop-up on their computer screens stating that a virus had infected the computers. Apparently, the pop-up was asking for ransom in a certain type of Internet currency (likely Bitcoin). This type of computer virus is known as Ransomware, in which access is restricted to the network or the computer itself until the user pays a ransom of some kind to the cybercriminals responsible for the virus. Ransomware has become an increasingly popular way of infiltrating networks of large business that have the cash to pay off hackers.
Abbott Law Group has a team of experienced attorneys and professionals dedicated to investigating and litigating cases with technology-based issues, especially those focused on data breaches. Our team of attorneys is currently investigating the need for a possible MedStar Health class action lawsuit. If you have been a victim of identity theft or identity fraud as a result of having your personal information stolen, you may be entitled to compensation. If you believe your information has been compromised in any way, from the MedStar Health data breach or any other data breach, contact the attorneys of Abbott Law Group today for a free case evaluation.