Portneuf Medical Center latest in a string of cyberattacks - East Idaho News


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Portneuf Medical Center latest in a string of cyberattacks

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POCATELLO — Portneuf Medical Center is investigating a possible security breach that has the hospital’s emergency room on divert status.

Administrators learned of the issue on Thursday, according to Mary Keating, spokesperson for Portneuf Medical Center.

“We became aware of a network outage due to a potential security incident that is affecting Portneuf Medical Center,” Keating said in a written statement.

The hospital’s IT team is working to determine the impact of the outage and restore access to the network. Meanwhile, the healthcare provider is following “established downtime protocols,” Keating said.

This includes diverting patients from the emergency room as a precaution. The hospital remains open.

“Patient care has not been adversely impacted,” Keating stated.

This is the latest of several cyberattacks experienced by area businesses and public agencies.

On Sunday, the Idaho National Laboratory announced a massive data breach that leaked employee addresses, Social Security numbers, bank account information and more.

RELATED | Idaho National Laboratory experiences massive data breach; employee information leaked online

The breach is being investigated by federal law enforcement and impacts thousands of local workers.

Other healthcare providers have been targeted, as well.

On May 30, Mountain View Hospital in Idaho Falls and its affiliated clinics were also victims of a cyberattack. Mountain View RediCare was forced to temporarily close its doors while other clinics ran at limited capacity.

RELATED | Mountain View Hospital sends out notices to patients of possible stolen information

On November 6, MadisonHealth, a Rexburg hospital, was forced to shut down its entire computer system. This action is believed to have halted the attack before patient information could be accessed.

At the time, Madison’s spokesman Doug McBride explained that hospitals are targeted for attacks because of the sensitive nature of information they retain.

RELATED | Rexburg hospital forced to shutdown online systems following cyberattack

“Healthcare is a tremendously high-target area for these individuals,” he told EastIdahoNews.com.

At this point, it is unclear how extensive the incident at Portneuf Medical Center is.

Those with questions or concerns can call Portneuf Medical Center at (208) 239-1000.

EastIdahoNews.com will provide more information about the attack and investigation as it becomes available.