More than 100 nursing homes spread across the country are having trouble paying employees and ordering necessary medications for residents due to a ransomware attack on an IT support company for long-term and post-acute providers.
The attack happened last Sunday against Virtual Care Provider Inc. by Russian hackers and has affected 80,000 computers and 110 nursing homes, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
Several providers have expressed troubles with paying employees, ordering medications, accessing patient records and using the internet following the breach, the outlet said.
Russian hackers, over a 14-month span, used phishing emails on employees to infect the company’s computers and gain access to its network and find weak points, the report stated. They were later able to gain control of administrators’ accounts and steal their data.
The hackers asked Virtual Care to pay a $14 million ransom to get its data back, but the company couldn’t afford it, according to the report. IT experts stated that hackers typically target small-to-midsize companies that don’t spend a lot on good security.
“We take seriously our responsibility to protect the security and privacy of our customers’ data and are working diligently to restore these systems as quickly and safely as possible. Our investigation remains ongoing. We regret any concern this may cause,” Virtual Care President Zachary Koch said in a statement to the news organization.