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A Targeted Cyber Attack on Ohio Health System

Nearly a week after a deliberate Cyber Attack on its systems, the Southern Ohio Medical Center in Portsmouth, Ohio, was still canceling appointments. The incident, which took place on November 11, resulted in a clinical system outage. Multiple clinic appointments were still being canceled as of Wednesday. “We appreciate your patience as we work around the clock to restore normal operations,” the organization wrote in a Facebook statement on Monday. We were unable to get in touch with SOMC for comment.

The health system includes a 248-bed hospital and several related facilities in the Portsmouth area, about 100 miles southeast of Cincinnati. On November 11, an unauthorized third party obtained access to SOMC’s servers “in what looks to be a targeted Cyber Attack,” according to a post on the organization’s Facebook page. SOMC claims to be collaborating with federal law enforcement and security companies.

In addition, it told local media that inpatient care remained unaffected. Despite this, the incident resulted in clinical system outages, which appear to be continuing. Even though the organization announced on November 12 that it would no longer steer patients away from its emergency department, numerous locations’ appointments were canceled on Wednesday. Affected appointments will be rescheduled as quickly as possible, according to the company.

SOMC has the terrible distinction of being one of the dozens of hospitals and health institutions that have been victims of Cyber Attack and data breaches during the COVID-19 era. As a result, some customers have experienced service interruptions that lasted days, if not weeks. And, according to cyber experts, the threat isn’t going away anytime soon. Ransomware is a constantly evolving threat, and while assaults by groups like REvil may garner more attention than others, they all pose a serious threat to healthcare delivery.

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