Rawlins Hospital Hit With Ransomware Attack Over Weekend

A hospital in Rawlins on Sunday became the latest Wyoming institution to be hit with a ransomware attack, officials announced.

Ellen Fike

March 23, 20222 min read

Rawlins hospital
(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

A hospital in Rawlins on Sunday became the latest Wyoming institution to be hit with a ransomware attack, officials announced.

However, a spokeswoman for Memorial Hospital of Carbon County said problems created by the attack should be resolved by Wednesday.

Hospital spokeswoman Stephanie Hinkle did not specify which of the hospital’s systems were targeted in the attack, but added that Medhost and Athena, the hospital’s two electronic health record systems, were not compromised.

Hinkle did not respond to Cowboy State Daily’s request for comment on Wednesday. It was not immediately clear how the ransomware attack occurred or who conducted it.

Manual back-up processes have been implemented at the facility to ensure patient care is not impacted. The hospital’s IT department and external IT vendors were working to resolve the issue and ensure all systems were reactivated quickly.

Hospital officials estimated the problems caused by the attack would be resolved within 72 hours.

Cyber Wyoming co-founder Pat Wolfinbarger told Cowboy State Daily that the hospital’s IT department should be commended for its quick and efficient work.

“Being back up and running in 72 hours and not having patient health information affected makes for a pretty good recovery,” he said. “In President [Joe] Biden’s recent warning about the possibility of a Russian cyberattack on critical infrastructure, which includes hospitals, he said it was our ‘patriotic duty’ to invest as much as we can to improve technological defenses. But even with tons of technological investment, we have to remember that our organizations are only as strong as each person in the organization.

“For every company, the challenge is constant vigilance when it comes to cyberattacks and ransomware attacks,” Wolfinbarger continued. “But even with that vigilance, companies can’t eliminate their risks, but they can reduce the impact if something happens.” 

Eastern Wyoming College in Torrington last June was hit with a cyberattack on the school’s administrative network, disabling its computer, phone and email systems for more than 24 hours.

The University of Wyoming last year also saw a cyberattack during virtual Black History Month event when people began sending racist and pornographic messages to disrupt it.

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Ellen Fike