Aiken Regional Medical Centers fall victim to international cybercriminals

Cyber Insider

AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. (WJBF) – Right now, all computers at Aiken Regional Medical Centers are down.

NewsChannel 6 Sports Director Brendan Robertson went to Aiken Regional for a pre-operation appointment Tuesday where he noticed things were different.

He said, “Everything done by hand. Done by paper. Handwritten receipts and everything that normally would’ve been done on a computer or digitally was done manually by hand. They told me all my stuff is still scheduled as is. Like I said, I think they’re just trying to manage.”

Universal Health Services Incorporated (UHS) owns Aiken Regional. The company provided us this statement:

“The IT Network across Universal Health Services (UHS) facilities is currently offline, as the company works through a security incident caused by malware. The cyberattack occurred early Sunday morning, at which time the company shut down all networks across the U.S. enterprise. We have no indication at this time that any patient or employee data has been accessed, copied, or misused. The company’s UK operations have not been impacted. UHS implements extensive IT security protocols to protect our systems and data, and we are working diligently with our IT security partners to restore IT infrastructure and business operations as quickly as possible. We are making steady progress with recovery efforts. Certain applications have already started coming online again, with others projected to be restored on a rolling basis across the U.S In the meantime, our facilities are using their established back-up processes including offline documentation methods. Patient care continues to be delivered safely and effectively.”

Robertson recalled, “I noticed they were turning a couple of people away for X-rays and other things. At the time it just seemed like ‘sometimes systems go down for a few hours or for a day’ at big corporations or hospitals or anywhere else. They seem to be handling the best they could but it was certainly more than just a little system going down for a day.”

UHS is a Fortune 500 company that operates 26 acute care hospitals, 330 behavioral health facilities, 41 outpatient facilities throughout the US. A cybersecurity expert told the Associated Press this is a suspected ransomware attack and it may have come from Russian cybercriminals.

There is no evidence that patient or employee data was accessed, copies, or misused.

We are waiting to hear back from Aiken Regional about the cyberattack. Continue to stick with us for any further developments.


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