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ECMC shows how hospitals can potentially be targeted

Erie County Medical Center continues to work on returning to normal operations more than a month after a massive computer shutdown.

The Grider Street hospital shut down its computers on April 9 after noticing the situation. Officials have not confirmed the attack as a case of ransomware.

But multiple sources have told The Buffalo News that it was ransomware – a phenomenon in which perpetrators encrypt files and offer a ransom to unlock them. Generally speaking, in cases of ransomware, emails trick recipients into opening attachments and releasing malware into their systems.

ECMC officials have said no medical records were compromised during the situation.

The decision to shut down their information systems caused issues for the large, complicated organization. Among the matters to address, according to the hospital, included the cleaning of more than 6,000 hard drives that store data, as well as the electronic medical record system, electronic registration, financial systems and communications.

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