An Alabama woman, identified as Teiranni Kidd, is suing a hospital where she gave birth to her daughter, Nicko Silar. She claims that the hospital suffered a hacker attack while she was in labor, which hindered the doctors' performance.
If proven, this could be the first case of an attack of ransomware which results in a death. In attacks of this type, hackers generally “hijack” the network and demand a payment, usually in cryptocurrencies, to return it.
Large companies have already been victims of such attacks, such as the Brazilian food giant, JBS. However, the effects can be fatal when it comes to a structure as critical as a hospital, in which, today, medical records and monitors are almost all connected in a network.
In the case of the attack that could have resulted in Nicko's death, which occurred in 2019, hackers took control of the Springhill Medical Center network. The hospital, in turn, refused to pay the ransom and did not even acknowledge that it had been attacked. The medical center's decision was to just turn off the network.
As a result, doctors had to work “the old-fashioned way”. However, with a good part of the automated systems, doctors had much more difficulty working than they would have 10 or 15 years ago, especially those who graduated recently or were newcomers to the hospital.
At Teiranni Kidd's birth, for example, doctors failed to monitor Nicko's vital signs. With that, they didn't realize that the heart beats hers were very fast. This may be a sign that the child has the umbilical cord wrapped around the neck.
death occurred later
Nicko was born passed out and with severe brain damage, nine months later, the baby died. Since then, Kidd has faced a long legal battle against the hospital. She even says that she had access to text messaging exchanged by doctors, who said that death could have been avoided.
According to her, the professionals said that if it was possible to check the warning signs, they would have opted for a cesarean, and not for normal delivery. Had that happened, the baby's life would have been easily saved.
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Although there are no other cases with such tragic endings, the hacker who claims the attack and claims to be part of the Russian Ryuk gang told the The Wall Street Journal which has carried out similar attacks on at least 235 hospitals since 2018.
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