Cyberattack shuts down computer network at Johnson Memorial

A cyberattack Saturday at Johnson Memorial Health has resulted in the disabling of the Franklin-based health care system’s computer network.

“We are currently working closely with our expert cybersecurity partners and law enforcement to investigate this attack and restore normal computer operations as quickly as possible,” the hospital system said in a statement on its web site.

Johnson Memorial said it has backup processes in place that allow its continued operation and that most services are unaffected. It said patients should continue to arrive for scheduled appointments unless notified otherwise.

“While we are working quickly to resolve the impact of the cyberattack,” the hospital system said, “we recognize that these situations can take time to fully resolve.”

The cyberattack on Johnson Memorial is just the latest hack that has hit hundreds of hospitals in recent years, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges.

In early August, Eskenazi Health in Indianapolis shut down its data network and diverted ambulances following what it then called an “attempted ransomware attack.”

Later, it warned its employees, providers, patients and vendors to closely monitor bank and credit card statements for suspicious activity because “bad actors” had obtained some personal information and released it online.

Cyberattacks against health care entities have risen 45 percent since November, and the sector accounted for 79 percent of all reported data breaches during the first 10 months of 2020, according to Health IT Security, an industry news site.

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