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Ransomware Knocks Out North Carolina Health System

By Revenue Cycle Advisor  
   October 31, 2017

Once the malware was discovered, the health system immediately implemented its security protocols.

This article was originally published October 27, 2017, by Revenue Cycle Advisor.

A variant of the so-called WannaCry virus took down a North Carolina-based health system’s network earlier this month. FirstHealth of the Carolinas in Pinehurst, North Carolina, continued to experience delays and appointment cancellations for several days after the incident, the organization reported October 20 in a statement on its website.

In an update posted to Facebook four days later, FirstHealth said it is still operating under standard downtime procedures and will continue to do so until all network systems and devices are cleared. The post linked back to the statement on the organization’s website.

FirstHealth implemented security protocols immediately after the malware was detected and downtime procedures were implemented. The organization’s information system team began the testing of each network device across all the organization’s locations. No patient information was affected, according to FirstHealth’s statement.

The malware was identified as a new variant of WannaCry, a form of ransomware that hit organizations across the globe in May. Initially, reports suggested that U.S. organizations dodged that attack. However, in June the Office of the Nation Coordinator of Health IT released an email alert stating that two large, multistate U.S. health systems were still recovering from WannaCry infections.

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