On July 5th, 2017, Caro Community Hospital (CCH) learned that unidentified criminals gained access to their technical infrastructure and installed ransomware in an attempt to deny access to its own data. The attack also affected Caro Medical Clinic as well the new Caro Quick Care. A ransomware attack is when criminals gain access, encrypt data and then “ransom” the encryption code that will allow the data to be un-encrypted. Ransomware has been around for the last 30+ years, but it has really become a major problem in recent years. CCH has been working with the FBI cyber-security consultants to investigate and assess the cause and impact of the breach. Currently, there has been no indication that patient data has been accessed or acquired.
In response to the attack, CCH unfortunately had to completely shut down their systems, which resulted in a disruption of their phone service and ability to respond to the community. Until July 10th, CCH was unable to receive many calls and still today, phones are working intermittently.
CCH’s mission is to serve the community and care for them during their most trying moments. The Hospital including the Emergency Department, Caro Medical Clinic and Caro Quick Care are fully functional. Marc Augsburger, CCH President and CEO stated “We ask the public to be patient and understanding as we recover from this horrible intrusion into our community. We consider this as an attack not only on Caro Community Hospital, but on the trust and assurances our patients place in us. We value that trust above all and are working diligently to restore services in their entirety while also ensuring the security of our data.”