Lurie Children's Hospital
Image: Lurie Children's Hospital / YouTube

Ransomware gang seeks $3.4 million after attacking children’s hospital

A ransomware gang is seeking $3.4 million after attacking a children’s hospital in Chicago, forcing staff to resort to manual processes to provide care to patients.

The attack on Lurie Children’s Hospital was announced earlier this month, when officials said they had been forced to take their entire network offline due to an unspecified “cybersecurity matter.”

The Rhysida ransomware-as-a-service group — which emerged in May last year, and has previously disrupted 16 hospitals across the U.S. — has now listed Lurie on its darknet extortion site.

The children’s hospital is one of the biggest pediatric healthcare organizations in the Midwest, serving 239,000 children each year and treating more children with cancer and blood disorders than any other hospital in the state of Illinois.

Despite the cyberattack, the hospital remains “open and providing care to patients with as few disruptions as possible,” although some appointments and elective surgeries were canceled as a result of the incident.

According to a statement on Lurie’s website last updated on February 22, work is ongoing to recover the hospital’s systems and the MyChart electronic records system is still down.

Patients and their parents are informed that the hospital is using manual processes due to the cyber disruption, which is resulting in “longer wait times between the request and completion of prescription requests.”

“As a reminder, please bring your printed insurance card to each appointment and also bring your child's medication bottles or a complete list of their current medications,” states Lurie’s website.

The ransomware group behind the attack is attempting to sell data stolen from the institution for 60 bitcoins, equivalent to just over $3.4 million.

Last August, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services published a warning about the Rhysida group, noting that it appeared to be increasing its attacks targeting the healthcare sector.

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Alexander Martin

Alexander Martin

is the UK Editor for Recorded Future News. He was previously a technology reporter for Sky News and is also a fellow at the European Cyber Conflict Research Initiative.