Hackernoon logoScripps Health's System Continuously Plagues After The Weekend Cyberattack by@benzane

Scripps Health's System Continuously Plagues After The Weekend Cyberattack

Ben Zane Hacker Noon profile picture

@benzaneBen Zane

An enthusiast technical writer who adores to write on trending stories related to Cybersecurity.

Cutting-edge technology and intelligent solutions are taking us towards an unpredictable era. Without a doubt, this whole world is accommodated with technological advancements. Unfortunately, cybercriminals have also leveled up their game in parallel to these up-thriving tech innovations. The Healthcare industry has become the major target of cybercriminals especially after the pandemic of COVID-19. Owing to its troves of valuable data, healthcare sectors have never been as vulnerable to cyberattacks as they are now. Hackers have rapidly evolved their tactics to exploit the fear which is escalating amongst the population. 

Do you know that 28,756,445 healthcare records were exposed in 2020? Also, data breaching costs the healthcare industry approximately $5.6 billion every single year. These figuring are just progressing with every passing day and we are currently witnessing an extraordinary level of vulnerability. Cybercriminals are reframing their phishing attempts on a regular basis to carry out cyberattacks in the best possible manner and to take advantage of this COVID-19 fear.

Let us talk about the most recent incident based on evolving cyberattacks. 

“Scripps Health’s computer systems faced ransomware attack this weekend, resulting in system disruption and systems continue to plague the san-Diego-based healthcare systems. People are facing ambiguity with upcoming appointments.”

About Scripps

A non-profit healthcare system, Scripps Health is based in San Diego in California. Scripps' healthcare system includes 5 hospitals as well as 19 outpatient facilities. Also, they annually treat a half-million patients via 2,600 affiliated physicians. Scripps Health also includes medical education and clinical research programs.  This organization has numerous project plans which include the Scripps Prebys Cardiovascular Institute. This institute will serve as a center for the treatment of health diseases. Also, this institute will graduate medical education. Presently, Scripps Mercy Hospital’s San Diego campus is raising funds for the expansion and modernization of its facilities which also includes the emergency department. 

Some Major Programs and Centers

There exist numerous noticeable programs and centers which are associated with Scripps Health. Those programs and centers are as follow: 

  • Comprehensive cancer care at Scripps Cancer Center
  •  Mericos Eye Institute
  • The Rehabilitation Center at Scripps Encinitas
  • Scripps Center for Organ and Cell Transplantation
  • Scripps Proton Therapy Center (5 suites utilizing pencil-beam precision)
  • On-Lay spinal fusion center of excellence
  • Scripps Blood and Marrow Transplant Center
  • Scripps Polster Breast Care Center
  • Scripps Clinical Research Services
  • Scripps Whittier Diabetes Institute
  • Scripps Clinic Center for Weight Management
  • Scripps Minimally Invasive Robotic Surgery Program
  • Leichtag Family Birth Pavilion at Scripps Encinitas
  • Scripps Genomic Medicine and Scripps Translational Science Institute
  • The Heart Center at Scripps La Jolla
  • Scripps Clinic Laser and Cosmetic Dermatology Center
  • Integrative (complementary) medicine at Scripps Center 

No Sign of Relief In Scripps Ransomware Shutdown 

According to the statements which were posted on social media, Scripps technical team was working hard by leaps and bounds in order to resolve this IT security incident. Due to this incident, patient records, appointments, and other critical systems were put offline, forcing medical personnel in hospitals to work manually and encourage paper-based work. 

“After fighting a strong battle to get back access to systems that faced a cyber attack on Saturday, Scripps claimed on the Monday afternoon that they have still not resolved that issue.“

However, Scripps has not confirmed yet that malicious software that was able to possess digital assets hostage under cash demand caused the disruption. Forums all across the internet were filled with Scripps patients which tended to seek more information about what would happen with those appointments which were made before the weekend. 

Noah Tyler of Carlsbad claimed that, 

“I was scheduled for the esophageal diagnostic process. I was supposed to receive the appointment’s location this weekend but access to the scheduling system was denied after the cyber attack. I couldn’t even look at the primary information. ”

On Sunday, The San Diego County Office of Emergency Services (OES) declared that ambulances were diverted from Scripps facilities to other hospitals in that area as a precautionary measure. An employee with AMR which is the city’s ambulance provider said on Monday that at that certain time, Scripps was only taking trauma transports and foot traffic. 

The appropriate government organizations and local law enforcement were also notified of this cyberattack. Anne Cutler from the Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency was asked to share her views regarding the incident. She makes a reference to NBC 7 back to Scripps for her insights.

Daniel Libby, CEO, and founder of Cyber Forensic Laboratory affirmed that,

“Ransomware attacks are the billion-dollar industry and all the tactics are just like some ransomware attack. Hackers can effortlessly breach a server. I guarantee that no matter which organization is affected by this, the technical team and IT staff is working 24/7 to resolve the issue and get the ransomware or malware out of the network to prevent network disruption”

Stay Ahead of Uncertainty 

Unquestionably, ransomware is a dangerous reality. People usually tend to relate ransoms with people who are kidnapped. Cybercriminals are emerging and up-pacing with new and innovative tactics which are almost impossible to track. Considering the prominent emergence of cyberattacks are ransomware attacks among health sectors all across the globe, infrastructures must take appropriate precautionary measures before the occurrence of such incidents. A very good habit that organizations must acquire to dodge cyberattacks is to keep the backup of important files on a regular basis in some other drive.  

Other healthcare sectors must learn lessons from this recent cyberattack faced by Scripps. Organizations must integrate themselves with robust solutions, for example, Know Your patient (KYP) to fight a strong battle against fraudulent activities and unauthorized access. Other effective measures such as AI-powered identity verification solutions play a promising role in assuring the legitimacy of patients as well as staff members. Real-time identity verification checks and solutions include KYC/AML compliance, age checks, OCR data extraction, document verification, multi-factor authentication, and more.  

Hence, organizations especially healthcare sectors must stay one step and must acquire appropriate measures to enhance the security protocols of their infrastructures. 


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