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Monday, November 29, 2021

UF Health computer servers still down two weeks after cyberattack on two hospitals

UF Health Leesburg Hospital and The Villages detected unusual activity within their computer systems on May 31.

Two weeks after a cyberattack on UF Health computers, its servers are still down.

On the night of May 31, UF Health Leesburg Hospital and UF Health The Villages Hospital detected unusual activity within their computer systems, according to a statement provided by UF Health spokesperson Ken Garcia.

UF Health Central Florida does not believe any patient or personnel records have been compromised or shared at the time of the statement, but it immediately suspended access to most system platforms, including its email. 

Garcia did not respond to questions about what type of “cybersecurity event” took place and what unusual activity was detected.

He did not answer whether the event was a ransomware attack, which involves an attacker locking system records until they are paid a sum of money. 

There are no indicators that the University of Florida or other health campus locations have been impacted, according to the statement.

All computer connections were suspended between UF Health Central Florida and the university's campuses in Gainesville and Jacksonville.

UF Health Central Florida stated it was in close coordination with local physicians and other local health care partners to ensure continuity of patient care. Hospitals and physician clinics switched to paper documentation procedures.

The statement did not specify when operations would return to normal, but UF Health is collaborating with IT experts to investigate and resolve the issue.

According to an updated statement, the information technology team is continuing to work to safely restore computer systems before bringing them back online. Recently implemented backup and downtime procedures are still being followed.

“Cybersecurity events like these take time to fully resolve,” the statement read. “Significant progress is being made on that front.”

Garcia did not provide additional information on what progress has been made.

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Contact Alexandra Harris at aharris@alligator.org. Follow her on Twitter @harris_alex_m.

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Alexandra Harris

Alexandra is a senior journalism major reporting on Science/Environment for The Alligator. Her work has appeared in The Gainesville Sun, and she filed public records requests for the Why Don't We Know investigative podcast. She has a passion for the environment.


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