US Hospitals Targeted in Ransomware Attack, Ardent Health Services Confirms

At least six medical institutions belonging to the Ardent Health Services (AHS) network have reported network operation disruptions. A ransomware attack compelled these medical centers to redirect patients from emergency departments to alternate facilities.

The issue was particularly acute at the Mountainside Medical Center in New Jersey, where emergency personnel and incoming emergency patients were diverted to other institutions. A hospital representative disclosed that this redirection resulted from a cyberattack, and the managing company, Ardent Health Services, confirmed this information. Nevertheless, the hospital assured that the emergency department of the Mountainside Medical Center continues to operate, and the quality of patient care remains uncompromised.

According to Ardent Health, the cyber incident was detected on Thursday, November 23, Thanksgiving Day. The company implemented data protection measures and disconnected its network. External specialists were engaged, and efforts are underway to restore the network. Ardent Health has also reported the cyberattack to law enforcement authorities. Currently, the networks are not yet fully restored. The investigation and restoration of access to electronic medical records and other clinical systems are ongoing.

Ardent Health acknowledged that they cannot confirm whether patient medical or financial data was compromised. Danahi warned that both current and former patients should be prepared for potential notifications from the hospital regarding information theft. The details about who or what caused the cyber incident remain unknown.

Before AHS publicly acknowledged the attack, a Reddit user claiming to be an employee of one of Ardent’s enterprises stated that the attack was carried out by the Black Suit ransomware. However, as of now, AHS’s name does not appear on the Black Suit website. It is known that the Black Suit ransomware is a rebranding of the Royal Ransomware.

Ardent Health Services is a leading provider of medical services in the USA. Through its subsidiaries, Ardent owns and operates 30 hospitals and over 200 medical institutions, employing more than 1,300 service providers across six states.