Columbia Surgical Specialists of Spokane pays nearly $15K to resolve ransomware attack affecting 400,000 patients: 4 details

Columbia Surgical Specialists of Spokane (Wash.) reported a ransomware attack affecting 400,000 patients to the HHS' Office for Civil Rights Breach portal Feb. 18.

The key details to know:

1. Columbia Surgical Specialists of Spokane sent a letter to its patients informing them of the attack, detailing that the practice had paid the attackers $14,649.09 to unlock encrypted files. The practice said the ransom was paid by the practice's physicians, and will not be passed on to patients.

2. The attack occurred January 9, 2019, and Columbia Surgical Specialists believes the data wasn't acquired or used by the attackers.

3. Columbia Surgical Specialists said they are reviewing their procedures and protocols to prevent a ransomware incident from occurring again.

4. This attack is the second largest reported to the OCR portal in 2019 so far, preceded by the data breach affecting 974,000 patients of Seattle-based UW Medicine.

Note: A representative from Columbia Surgical Specialists could not be reached for comment at the time of publication. This coverage will be updated if a statement is received.

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