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San Diego Area Health Provider Confronts Cyberattack

Scripps Health, the region’s second-largest health system, continues to grapple with a ransomware attack.

Scripps Health remained significantly impacted by a ransomware attack Monday, the ninth-straight day since hackers sent the region’s second-largest health system reeling May 1.

The system’s website,, continued to host only a one-paragraph message with a notice of a network outage, an apology and a phone number for patients to call under the headline “ will be back soon.”

The attack sidelined the organization’s electronic medical record and other electronic systems used to deliver care in hospitals and medical office buildings, leading to ambulance diversions, canceled procedures and patient surges at other local facilities. The outage also shut down the “My Scripps” smartphone application that so many have grown accustomed to using for messaging their doctors, making appointments and tracking prescriptions.

As was the case last week, Scripps had little to say about the situation Monday. A single-paragraph statement repeated previous assertions that an internal investigation “is ongoing.”

“So as not to compromise the integrity of the ongoing investigation and to maintain our focus on providing the highest level of patient care, we are not able to provide additional details at this time,” the statement said.

Because the attack is an actual crime, one under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Scripps Chief Executive Officer Chris Van Gorder said in an email Monday there are significant limits on what can be said.

“It’s not business as usual, and I’m limited with what I can say under the circumstances,” Van Gorder said. “We are a very ethical and legal organization, and my focus now is caring for patients.”

Scripps is not the only large organization in San Diego currently dealing with the fallout from a cyberattack.

On Monday, the University of California posted an update to its previous statements on an infiltration that allowed hackers to download identifying information from its servers in late 2020. The breach included full names, addresses, driver’s license information, passport information, financial information, birthdates and other private details for current and former employees, students and others who participated in programs throughout the UC system.

First shared with the public on March 31, the attack occurred on Dec. 24, 2020, and some data was subsequently posted on the Internet. The university has directly notified those it knows were affected, offering each free credit monitoring and identity theft protection services.

UC was one of hundreds of organizations breached through a known vulnerability in the Accellion File Transfer Appliance. Some organizations have subsequently reported that personal information has been used to attempt to extort money directly from individual victims.

The university has so far declined to say how many people are affected either in the aggregate across all of its campuses or at UCSD in particular. A UCSD official said in an email Monday that UC San Diego Health and its patients were not affected.

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