Finger Lakes Health Attacked by Ransomware


Finger Lakes Health in Geneva, NY had a ransomware attack that made its computer system inaccessible. The health system did not stop its operations but the staff had to use pen and paper while the IT team worked on removing the malware to restore access to electronic medical data. Finger Lakes Health was attacked on the midnight of March 18, 2018 but it became aware of the attack only when the attackers issued a ransom demand.

Information regarding the facilities impacted by the ransomware attack is not yet available. Finger Lakes Health operates several facilities including Geneva General Hospital, Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hospital in Pen Yan, speciality care practices, long term health facilities, primary care physician practices and day care centers in upstate New York.

Finger Lakes Health followed its emergency procedures immediately when the ransomware attack was discovered. It issued a press release to local media channels on March 20 informing the public of its continued operations. Though computer systems were inaccessible, the hospitals and care facilities are following a manual downtime protocol. There’s an obvious inevitable impact on providing medical services, but patient care remains a top priority while the concerned experts deal with the ransomware attack.

Finger Lakes Health is in close contact with law enforcement while its IT teams try to restore data access and put systems back online.  It seems that the attackers just encrypted data and did not view or steal any patient or employee PHI. Very little information has been released about the attack. Nothing has been said about the type of ransomware that attacked Finger Lakes Health. There’s also no information on the issue of paying ransom to the attacker to get data access.