Wisconsin Public Radio

Ascension Systems Down Following “Cyber Security Event”

Ascension says it detected the breach Wednesday, but unclear if patient info was affected

By , Wisconsin Public Radio - May 9th, 2024 02:03 pm
Ascension Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital in Milwaukee. Coburn Dukehart / Wisconsin Watch

Ascension Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital in Milwaukee. Coburn Dukehart / Wisconsin Watch

A health system with numerous hospitals and clinics in Wisconsin is investigating a cyber attack that interrupted access to some technology systems. But it’s unclear whether the hack affected sensitive patient information.

The St. Louis-based Ascension said it detected “unusual activity” on select network systems on Wednesday that it believes were caused by a “cyber security event.”

Ascension is working with a third-party expert to find a solution. The health system said it is working to uncover what information may have been affected by the breach. If sensitive information was affected, Ascension said it will notify impacted individuals.

“Our care teams are trained for these kinds of disruptions and have initiated procedures to ensure patient care delivery continues to be safe and as minimally impacted as possible,” the health care provider said in a statement. “There has been a disruption to clinical operations, and we continue to assess the impact and duration of the disruption.”

Ascension did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Last year, a cyber attack caused a system-wide outage for HSHS and Prevea that affected clinical and administrative communications systems.

According to the New York Times, hospital systems have increasingly been targets for hackers in recent years. The Times reports that health care is one of the economic sectors most susceptible to cyber attacks because medical records can be sold for a lot of money.

Editor’s note: This story will be updated.

Ascension is the latest Wisconsin health system hit with a cyber attack was originally published by Wisconsin Public Radio.

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One thought on “Ascension Systems Down Following “Cyber Security Event””

  1. Marty Ellenbecker says:

    Insurance companies are facing large and growing expenses for injuries and deaths from COVID shots.

    Could they be funding of breaches for info to write “weasel” policies?
    Or, to protect themselves from falsified government statistics?

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