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Ascension says massive cyberattack started after employee clicked malicious file

Ascension
Posted at 6:00 PM, Jun 12, 2024

DETROIT (WXYZ) — More than a month after a massive ransomware attack to Ascension’s systems, the health care company is providing more answers about what happened.

The cyberattack impacted Ascension hospitals across the U.S. Ascension has six hospitals in metro Detroit. All of them had to revert to pen and paper during the recovery process, leading to higher wait times.

VIDEO: How Ascension health cyberattack caused headache for doctors

'Migraine': How Ascension health cyberattack caused headache for doctors

The health care system is saying this all started with an honest mistake. They say an employee accidentally downloaded a malicious file they thought was legitimate, allowing the hackers into the Ascension system.

The company says according to their investigation, attackers took a small number of files from servers mostly used for routine daily tasks. But they say those files may have included some people's protected health and personal data.

VIDEO: Ascension's cyberattack causes long wait times, paper-only systems, frustrations

Ascension's cyberattack causes long wait times, paper-only systems, frustrations

Ascension says they will let anyone who was affected know when they are done analyzing the data.

Part of a statement released by Ascension on Wednesday said:

“We understand individuals may have questions about their data, including whether it was affected, but at this point we are not able to answer those questions on an individual basis. Once our data analysis is complete, however, we are committed to following all applicable laws and regulations to notify affected individuals and the appropriate regulatory bodies. To our patients, associates and the communities we serve, we regret any disruption or concern you may have experienced as a result of this incident.”

In the meantime, Ascension says it's offering free credit monitoring and identity protection services to patients. Patients who wish to use the service can call 1-888-498-8066.
 
Ascension said their systems should be fully up and running again by this Friday.