Campbell County Health Ransomware Attack Causes Major Disruption to Patient Services

Campbell County Health in Gillette, WY, has experienced a ransomware attack that has disabled hospital systems and is preventing access to patient information. The attack started in the early hours of Friday September 20, 2019 according to the Department of Health.

An investigation into the attack has been launched and efforts are continuing to remove the ransomware, restore encrypted files, and bring systems back online; however, at the time of writing, Campbell County Health is continuing to experience major disruption to medical services.

Campbell County Health reports that all of its systems have been affected. At this stage, no evidence has been uncovered to suggest patient information has been subjected to unauthorized access or misused.

The Emergency Department, Maternal Child (OB) department, and the Walk-In Clinic remain open and staff are on hand to triage and treat patients. Transfers to alternate facilities will be arranged, if appropriate, and the County’s Emergency Medical Services (EMS) has additional ambulances to meet demand. Patients already receiving care are being looked after and individuals who receive a higher level of care will be transferred to other facilities.

The cyberattack has been reported all appropriate authorities, including the Wyoming Office of Homeland Security. At this stage it is unclear how the ransomware was installed, whether file recovery is possible, or if the ransom demand will be paid.

Campbell County Health is not able to provide an ETA when all services will return to normal. The telephone system has now been brought back online and regular updates on the attack and the status of patient services are being posted on the Campbell County Health website.

The attack is the latest in a string of ransomware attacks on healthcare facilities, cities, municipalities and government agencies.

Author: Steve Alder has many years of experience as a journalist, and comes from a background in market research. He is a specialist on legal and regulatory affairs, and has several years of experience writing about HIPAA. Steve holds a B.Sc. from the University of Liverpool.