Sarah Culbertson Hospital
Image: Sarah D. Culbertson Memorial Hospital via Facebook

Illinois hospital’s networks back online after cyberattack

An Illinois hospital says its networks are now restored after a cyberattack late last month forced its systems offline.

Sarah D. Culbertson Memorial Hospital in the town of Rushville, about 50 miles northwest of Springfield, released a statement last Friday informing the public that staff had discovered a “network disruption” on March 30.

“This action disabled access to most functions while we investigated the activity,” the 22-bed hospital said in the press release. “We immediately retained third party specialists to assist us with our investigation. At this point we have determined that we were the victim of a cyber-security incident.”

On Tuesday, the hospital’s spokesperson confirmed that IT systems are now fully restored, declining to comment further on the nature of the incident. More information will be released on the hospital’s Facebook page, she said.

Hackers have frequently targeted medical facilities in recent years, taking advantage of often lax IT security protocols and a willingness to pay ransoms so as to avoid disruptions in care.

In the last four months, multiple U.S. government agencies have warned of attacks by threat actors using the Royal ransomware strain on medical organizations. In January, the Department of Health and Human Services released an advisory about DDoS attacks by the Russian hacktivist group Killnet specifically targeting the U.S. health sector.

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James Reddick

James Reddick

has worked as a journalist around the world, including in Lebanon and in Cambodia, where he was Deputy Managing Editor of The Phnom Penh Post. He is also a radio and podcast producer for outlets like Snap Judgment.