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Healthcare Havoc: Unprecedented Cyberattack Disrupts Hospitals Across Several States

A wave of cybernetic assault has thrown hospital computer systems into chaos across multiple states, compelling the shuttering of some emergency rooms and redirection of ambulances. As the week closed, numerous primary care services still remained inaccessible, with cybersecurity professionals striving relentlessly to gauge the severity of the disruption and seek solutions.

The turbulence, termed a "data security incident," initiated its descent into chaos on Thursday, engulfing facilities under the banner of Prospect Medical Holdings. The healthcare conglomerate, headquartered in California, administers hospitals and clinics spread across Texas, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Pennsylvania.

“On detecting the cyber onslaught, we promptly disconnected our systems to shield them, deploying the expertise of external cybersecurity specialists to spearhead an investigation,” the company conveyed in a Friday statement. As the probe persists, the firm pledges its undivided attention to catering to the urgent necessities of its patients, while ardently striving for a swift restoration of normal operations.

The cybernetic storm forced the emergency departments at Manchester Memorial and Rockville General hospital in Connecticut to cease operations for a significant duration on Thursday, triggering a patient influx at nearby medical centers.

“An all-hands-on-deck response from the Prospect team is currently evaluating the fallout of the attack on all our establishments,” stated Jillian Menzel, chief operating officer for the Eastern Connecticut Health Network.

The FBI in Connecticut affirmed their collaboration with “law enforcement allies and the afflicted entities” but withheld further comment due to the ongoing nature of the investigation.

The disruption triggered a suspension of elective surgeries, outpatient appointments, and blood drives, among other services. Despite emergency departments resuming service late on Thursday, many primary care services persisted in closure into Friday, as reported by the Eastern Connecticut Health Network, which manages these facilities. Patients are being apprised of the situation individually, as per the network's website.

The ripple effects of the disruption reverberated across other facilities system-wide.

"Waterbury Hospital is adhering to its downtime procedures, which involves resorting to paper records until the situation is rectified,” declared spokeswoman Lauresha Xhihani. “We're synergizing with IT security experts to expedite resolution.”

In Pennsylvania, the attack impacted services at various facilities, including the Crozer-Chester Medical Center in Upland, Taylor Hospital in Ridley Park, Delaware County Memorial Hospital in Drexel Hill, and Springfield Hospital in Springfield, as per the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Prospect's California footprint, which comprises seven hospitals in Los Angeles and Orange counties, including two behavioral health facilities and a 130-bed acute care hospital in Los Angeles, was not spared either. Attempts to reach representatives for these hospitals went unanswered.

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