FBI, LAPD Investigating Hollywood Hospital Cyber Attack

The Los Angeles Police Department and FBI have launched an investigation Friday on the cyber attack that shut down the computer system of a Hollywood hospital for the past week, officials said.

Staff at the Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center noticed "significant IT issues and declared an internal emergency" Feb. 5, said hospital president and CEO Allen Stefanek.

Stefanek said the shutdown has not affected patient care, but Jackie Mendez and her 87-year-old ailing mother are seeing the impact of the cyber attack.

Mendez said she and her mother had to drive more than an hour to Palmdale to pick up medical tests in person.

"It's bad," she said. "She's an older person. It's not right she has to do this."

Several hospital staff members said the computer system was hacked and was being held on a ransom of 3.4 billion in bitcoins, and in exchange, the hackers would send back the key codes to restore the system.

Stefanek said the cyber attack was "random" and was not malicious.

Stefanek said 911 patients that were transported by ambulance are being sporadically diverted to other hospitals, and all registrations and medical records are being written on paper.

Belmont West said he came into the hospital Friday and was told he couldn't access his grandmother's medical test results.

"It's a little worrying because when you go to a hospital you expect the best care, but it seems there is some sort of delay and failure in the system," he said.

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