DCH Hospitals seeing all patients following cyber attack

DCH reopens to patients after ransomware attack

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WBRC) -The COO of West Alabama’s DCH Health system says all three hospitals are now accepting more than just patients in need of critical care, after a cyber attack last week.

Paul Betts, Chief Operating Officer of the DCH Health System, made the announcement Thursday, outside of the Emergency Room at DCH Regional Medical Center in Tuscaloosa.

After computer hackers shut down some of the hospital’s computer networks on October 1, some systems were encrypted and others could not communicate with each other.

The hospitals were only seeing patients who came to the ER or had critical care needs as a result until Thursday.

The hospitals confirmed a ransom had been paid and that hackers sent them a decryption key, which they started using over the weekend to unlock those systems.

Betts wouldn’t say how much was paid in ransom. But he confirmed they had insurance for the incident. “We had cyber insurance so .... As time goes by and we determine the full impact of this, we will be very grateful we had cyber insurance in place," Betts explained.

He said the hospital is undergoing a computer audit to determine how they were attacked and security systems are being strengthened as a result of what happened.

Northport and Fayette Medical Center are also in the DCH Health System.

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