A doctor at a hospital
Image: SJ Obijo via Unsplash

Ransomware gang claims responsibility for Christmas attack on Massachusetts hospital

A ransomware gang has publicly said it was behind a Christmas day attack on a hospital serving parts of Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

On Friday, the Money Message ransomware gang claimed it stole 600GB of information from Anna Jaques Hospital (AJH) and said it also has data related to its parent network, Beth Israel Lahey Health. It did not say how much of a ransom it is demanding.

AJH confirmed on January 5 that it dealt with a cybersecurity incident on December 25.

“Upon discovery, AJH immediately secured our environment and engaged cybersecurity professionals to assist in the investigation. Patient safety and privacy is always a top priority and continues to be so as we meet significant milestones in our IT recovery efforts,” the hospital said.

“The hospital remains fully operational and we continue to provide safe and effective patient care. If it is determined that data has been impacted by this incident, we will send all required notifications in accordance with state and federal laws to patients, vendors, and impacted parties.”

The 119-bed community hospital serves thousands of people living in the North Shore, Merrimack Valley and Seacoast area regions in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

AJH previously said the incident knocked out the electronic health records system and caused the facility to turn away ambulances on Christmas Day.

Ransomware gangs have made a point of going after hospitals and non-profits over the Christmas holiday, attempting to take advantage of lightly-staffed IT teams.

Last year, the notorious ransomware gang LockBit apologized after shutting down one of Canada’s largest hospitals for children after a Christmas attack.

On January 8, inter-church non-profit World Council of Churches (WCC) confirmed that it was attacked by a ransomware gang on December 28.

Ransomware gangs also attempted to extort cancer survivors after targeting a Seattle hospital in December and launched other attacks on hospitals in Missouri, New Jersey and Pennsylvania during the holiday season.

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Jonathan Greig

Jonathan Greig

is a Breaking News Reporter at Recorded Future News. Jonathan has worked across the globe as a journalist since 2014. Before moving back to New York City, he worked for news outlets in South Africa, Jordan and Cambodia. He previously covered cybersecurity at ZDNet and TechRepublic.