Alabama hospital system halts admissions amid malware attack

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) – A hospital system that serves a large part of rural west Alabama has temporarily quit accepting new patients because of a ransomware attack that crippled some of its computer systems.

A spokesman for DCH Health System says its hospitals in Tuscaloosa, Northport and Fayette began diverting most new patients to Birmingham and elsewhere after the attack became apparent early Tuesday.

Spokesman Brad Fisher says the attack made it impossible for some computer systems to communicate with each other, but no patient data is believed to be lost. He says medical staff members are using paper copies in place of digitized records.

Fisher says it’s unclear how much money the hackers are demanding to relinquish control, but federal agents are on the way.

The three hospitals have about 850 beds total.

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