WASHINGTON (TheBlaze/AP) -- The FBI says it's investigating a computer virus that has crippled information systems at the major Washington-area hospital chain MedStar Health Inc.
WASHINGTON (@AP) - FBI investigating computer virus causing major outages at large hospital chain Medstar Health.— TheBlazeNOW (@TheBlazeNOW) March 28, 2016
The virus has affected Washington's Georgetown University Hospital and other medical offices in the region.
Medstar says in a statement that the virus prevented some employees from logging into systems. But it said all of its clinics remain open and functioning.
"The organization has moved to back-up systems paper transactions where necessary." -@MedStarHealth statement after computer virus outage— Mike Carter-Conneen (@ABC7Mike) March 28, 2016
A law enforcement official says the FBI is assessing whether the virus is so-called ransomware, in which hackers extort money in exchange for returning a victim's systems to normal. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because this person was not authorized to publicly discuss details about the ongoing criminal investigation.
FBI Baltimore confirms that it is aiding investigation into suspected cyber attack at Medstar Health— Ian Duncan (@iduncan) March 28, 2016
The hospital chain said it has no evidence so far that patient information had been stolen.
“MedStar acted quickly with a decision to take down all system interfaces to prevent the virus from spreading throughout the organization,” spokeswoman Ann Nickels told the Washington Post. “We are working with our IT and cyber-security partners to fully assess and address the situation."
The $5 billion Medstar system operates ten hospitals and more than 250 outpatient facilities in the Washington, D.C., southern Maryland and Northern Virginia region. The system serves hundreds of thousands of patients and employs more than 30,000 people.