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Cyberattack blamed for outages at hospitals in Illinois, Wisconsin

The attack brought down phone services and online tools that patients use to monitor their records.
Cyberattack blamed for outages at hospitals in Illinois, Wisconsin
Posted at 1:42 PM, Sep 15, 2023

Hospital Sisters Health Systems, which operates medical facilities in Illinois and Wisconsin, is beginning to recover after an apparent cyberattack. 

Damond Boatwright, president and CEO of the nonprofit health care system, said the attack happened in late August, bringing down phone services and online tools patients use to monitor their records. 

"Our investigation into the scope and impact of the incident is ongoing," Boatwright said. "We're receiving assistance from third party experts and we also are working with law enforcement."

Boatwright added that workers implemented protocols after the initial attack, allowing the hospitals to remain operational despite some services being limited. 

SEE MORE: US government agencies targeted in global cyberattacks, officials say

The health care system revealed on Sept. 12 that it had finally been able to restore a platform that allows people to access online health records. 

"We will respond to patient messages as quickly as possible, and we encourage patients to reach out to their provider’s office to speak with a member of their health care team, should they require urgent assistance," Hospital Sisters Health Systems stated in a message to customers. 

Other systems appear to be slowly coming back online. One of the health care system's pharmacies was finally able to reopen on Thursday. 

"Thank you for working with alternative pharmacies during the downtime," the organization stated. "We appreciate your patience throughout this event and look forward to serving you again.

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