UCSF Hospital Paid $1.14M in Bitcoin After Ransomware Attack

Ransomware group Netwalker is believed to be behind the attack on UCSF, which temporarily restricted access to the medical school’s data.

Jun 30, 2020 at 8:12 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 8:58 a.m. UTC

According to a recent report by BBC News, University of California San Francisco paid hackers $1.14 million in bitcoin after a ransomware attack earlier this month. 

  • The Netwalker ransomware group is believed to be behind the attack which encrypted data on the School of Medicine’s servers, making it temporarily inaccessible. While the hackers first demanded $3 million, after negotiations on the dark web with UCSF they agreed to a ransom of $1.14 million. 
  • After the university transferred 116.4 bitcoins to Netwalker’s electronic wallets, it was given a decryption tool to unlock the data blocked by the attack. 
  • While the university did not specify what data was affected, a statement released on its website said it does not currently believe that patient medical records were exposed. The incident also did not affect patient care delivery operations or COVID-19 related work, according to the university. 
  • UCSF told BBC News that it was now assisting the FBI in its investigation, while also working to restore the data that was taken down. The Netwalker group has also been linked to ransomware attacks on two other universities over the last couple of months. 
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