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More than 400 UHS hospitals hit by ransomware

Universal Health Services, a major hospital chain operating in the US and the UK, has been struck by a ransomware cyber attack forcing ambulances to be redirected, surgeries to be sent to other hospitals and staff to resort to pen and paper.

Experts and alleged staff at the firm have said that it is a cyber attack but the hospitals have so far refused to confirm. Reports, however, claim that computer and phone systems were knocked offline at UHS facilities, with multiple antivirus programs disabled by the attack.

A Reddit thread claimed that the incident was caused by a ransomware strain named Ryuk, an operation that has been recently quiet for months, but has returned to normal operations last week.

In a brief statement posted to the company's website, UHS said it was working 'diligently with our IT security partners to restore IT operations as quickly as possible using backups. Our facilities are using their established back-up processes including offline documentation methods’. It added that patient care 'continues to be delivered safely and effectively.'

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