Chicago’s Lurie Children’s Hospital is still working offline without the use of any mode of communication, including phone calls and emails. Following a cyberattack almost two weeks ago, the hospital is working with reduced services in an attempt to recover from the damages. During a press conference on Thursday, the hospital confirmed that its “network was accessed by a known criminal threat actor.”

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CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – FEBRUARY 07: A sign marks an entrance to the Lurie Children’s Hospital on February 07, 2024 in Chicago, Illinois. The hospital’s computer network has been offline for eight days following what is believed to be a cyberattack. Scott Olson/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by SCOTT OLSON / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)(Getty Images via AFP)

Lurie Children’s Hospital trying to recover from the cyberattack

During the conference, the hospital workers did not provide any information about the person who had accessed their network. However, the hospital is working alongside leading experts and the FBI to solve the matter at hand. In light of the current scenario, the hospital wrote on its website, “Lurie Children’s is actively responding to a cybersecurity matter.”

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“We are taking this very seriously, are investigating with the support of leading experts, and are working in collaboration with law enforcement agencies. As part of our response to this matter, we have proactively taken network systems offline which is currently impacting our phone, email and electronic systems,” the statement adds.

Jeremy Treister, a cybersecurity expert and CMIT Solutions president, said, “Imagine if you’re at war, you can’t expose your situation to your enemy,” per ABC Chicago. Treister continued, “You might want to express some ideas of what you’re doing, some strategy, but it’s dangerous to go into detail about every move you’re going to make.”

Explaining the motive behind the cyber attack, Treister explained, “It could be ransom. It could be for political gain.” “Maybe they just want to make themselves known out there that they are the experts. Because there is a whole business out there of hiring hackers to get into your systems,” the cybersecurity expert added.

Given the size and complexity of the hospital’s network, cybersecurity experts note that it could take several weeks to recover from the attack. Meanwhile, the hospital has established a call centre for patients’ needs and requirements, including “non-urgent patient requests, care questions, information regarding scheduled patient appointments, and patient prescription refill requests,” per the outlet.

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