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Virus Attack Disrupts Operations of Lutheran Hospital


Geoff Thomas, Public Relations Supervisor of Lutheran Hospital declared that on September 18, 2018, Tuesday, at around 6.30 p.m., Lutheran Hospital came back to its normal operations and the divert status of the hospital was lifted after a computer virus attack.


In response to the inquiries raised by Fort Wayne's NBC, the Lutheran Hospital's officials said that the IT staff of Lutheran Health Network was successful in stopping a virus on 18 September, 2018, from infecting hospital's local network. As a precautionary measure, the hospital authorities shut down all the computers and the phones.


Thomas said that because of the virus attack, Lutheran Hospital's officials were forced to cancel the remaining elective cases for the day. Thomas, however, added that the elective cases that were cancelled will soon be rescheduled by the hospital. The cyber threat also led the hospital to be placed on a 'diversion status', which means that all the ambulances were being diverted to other hospitals during that time, said Thomas.


Though the entire Lutheran Health Network was involved in the virus attack, Lutheran Hospital was only one that was placed on 'diversion' status. The officials said that the cyber attack affected the phones and computer systems throughout the Lutheran Health Network, but the 'diversion status' was not placed by anyone else except Lutheran Hospital. Lutheran Health Network in the northeast Indiana comprises of eight different hospitals that includes Dupont, Lutheran and St. Joseph hospitals in the Allen County.


A day after the cyber attack, the officials of Lutheran Health Network on September 19, 2018, confirmed that there was no incident of patient data being compromised in the attack.


An update on the incident was issued by Lutheran Health Network on September 19, 2018, in the afternoon, which said that they experienced an attempted ransomware attack on September 18, 2018, afternoon. It further stated that the IT team of the hospital immediately began executing incident response procedures to protect their network by shutting down the phones and computer. They also implemented backup communication measures along with various other processes immediately to combat the virus attack. The update further said that with the help of many Lutheran Health Network members along with outside vendors, almost all the systems were rebooted and were brought to normal by evening.

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