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Cyberattackers Target Missouri Hospital At Epicenter Of COVID Outbreak, Post Patient Data

The cyberattack at Missouri Delta Medical Center does not appear to involve data from the hospital’s main electronic medical record system and is not affecting their ability to care for patients, the medical center said in a statement to St. Louis Public Radio.
Missouri Delta Medical Center
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The cyberattack at Missouri Delta Medical Center does not appear to involve data from the hospital’s main electronic medical record system and is not affecting their ability to care for patients, the medical center said in a statement to St. Louis Public Radio.

The ransomware group known as Hive has stolen confidential patient information from Sikeston-based Missouri Delta Medical Center, including Social Security numbers and medical information.

A health care provider in southeast Missouri has become the latest target of ransomware hackers.

Missouri Delta Medical Center in Sikeston, roughly 30 miles south of Cape Girardeau, confirmed the data breach Friday. In a statement to St. Louis Public Radio, the medical center said that an “unauthorized third party” stole information from one of its servers and that the hospital is working with an outside security firm to investigate the cyberattack.

The ransomware group known as Hive began posting confidential patient information on Sept. 9, including names, Social Security numbers and medical information.

The FBI’s Cyber Division issued an alert in August, warning that ransomware attackers affiliated with Hive use a variety of tactics to infiltrate business networks, including “phishing emails with malicious attachments.”

Hive has targeted other U.S. health care providers, including Memorial Health System in Marietta, Ohio, which canceled all urgent surgeries and radiology exams following the breach.

The cyberattack at Missouri Delta Medical Center does not appear to involve data from the hospital’s main electronic medical record system and is not affecting its ability to care for patients, the medical center said in a statement.

The city of Sikeston straddles Scott and New Madrid counties, which are experiencing surges in new coronavirus infections. Scott County has had the highest rate of new COVID-19 cases in Missouri over the past week, according to state tracking data.

Missouri Delta Medical Center recently released data on Facebook showing a spike in the number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19. In August, the hospital admitted 79 patients, up from just six in June.

Follow Shahla on Twitter: @shahlafarzan 

Copyright 2021 St. Louis Public Radio. To see more, visit St. Louis Public Radio.

Shahla Farzan is a general assignment reporter and weekend newscaster at St. Louis Public Radio. She comes most recently from KBBI Public Radio in Homer, Alaska, where she covered issues ranging from permafrost thaw to disputes over prayer in public meetings. A science nerd to the core, Shahla spent six years studying native bees, eventually earning her PhD in ecology from the University of California-Davis. She has also worked as an intern at Capital Public Radio in Sacramento and a podcaster for BirdNote. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, combing flea markets for tchotchkes, and curling up with a good book.
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