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ECMC in Buffalo, NY Gets Ransomware On Computers

Erie County Medical Center officials say a virus that has shut down the hospital's entire computer network since early Sunday morning has not affected the care delivered to patients or nursing home residents.

With the medical center’s computer network still offline, ECMC is conducting business the old fashioned way, on paper—no website, no email—and Cutler says they don’t believe patient files were compromised in any way.

“Through the assessments that we have been running, we have seen no indication that there has been a compromise of patient health information.”

ecmc hacked by ransomware in buffalo ny

How Can You Protect Yourself From Ransomware Attacks Like The One ECMC Had:

There are different types of ransomware. However, all of them will prevent you from using your PC normally, and they will all ask you to do something before you can use your PC. They can target any PC users, whether it's a home computer, endpoints in an enterprise network, or servers used by a government agency or healthcare provider. Ransomware can:
- Prevent you from accessing Windows.
- Encrypt files so you can't use them.
- Stop certain apps from running (like your web browser).
- Ransomware will demand that you pay money (a "ransom") to get access to your PC or files. We have also seen them make you complete surveys.
- There is no guarantee that paying the fine or doing what the ransomware tells you will give access to your PC or files again.

Details for home users

There are two types of ransomware – lockscreen ransomware and encryption ransomware.

Lockscreen ransomware shows a full-screen message that prevents you from accessing your PC or files. It says you have to pay money (a "ransom") to get access to your PC again. Encryption ransomware changes your files so you can't open them. It does this by encrypting the files – see the Details for enterprises section if you're interested in the technologies and techniques we've seen. Older versions of ransom usually claim you have done something illegal with your PC, and that you are being fined by a police force or government agency. These claims are false. It is a scare tactic designed to make you pay the money without telling anyone who might be able to restore your PC. Newer versions encrypt the files on your PC so you can't access them, and then simply demand money to restore your files. Ransomware can get on your PC from nearly any source that any other malware (including viruses) can come from.

This includes:

- Visiting unsafe, suspicious, or fake websites.
- Opening emails and email attachments from people you don't know, or that you weren't expecting.
- Clicking on malicious or bad links in emails, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media posts, instant messenger chats, like Skype.

It can be very difficult to restore your PC after a ransomware attack – especially if it's infected by encryption ransomware. That's why the best solution to ransomware is to be safe on the Internet and with emails and online chat:
-Don't click on a link on a webpage, in an email, or in a chat message unless you absolutely trust the page or sender.
-If you're ever unsure – don't click it!
- Often fake emails and webpages have bad spelling, or just look unusual. Look out for strange spellings of company names (like "PayePal" instead of "PayPal") or unusual spaces, symbols, or punctuation (like "iTunesCustomer Service" instead of "iTunes Customer Service").


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