Cyberattack Cripples Major Montco-Based Healthcare System

KING OF PRUSSIA, PA — A King of Prussia-based hospital chain, among the largest in the nation, suffered a major cyberattack over the weekend, the company confirmed. The attack, believed to be among the largest in history, crippled user access and the company’s online system and intensified consumer concerns over the security of personal information.

The attack targeting Universal Health Systems occurred in the early morning hours of Sunday, Sept. 27, the company said in a statement Tuesday. The Fortune 500 company, which owns more than 400 hospitals and healthcare facilities around the United States, Puerto Rico, and the United Kingdom, does not believe private information was compromised.

“At this time, we have no evidence that patient or employee data was accessed, copied or misused,” the company said.

The company has temporarily suspended online user access in the United States as an investigation is underway. The shutdown has caused hundreds of hospitals to shift all paperwork offline to hard copies.

Universal Health Systems acknowledged the disruptions, but said that “patient care continues to be delivered safely and effectively.”

NBC reports that nurses had to deal with computers suddenly turning off over the weekend, causing major difficulties.

It remains unclear how long the system will be shut down. The perpetrators are not known.

In southeastern Pennsylvania, some Universal Health Systems-owned properties include the KeyStone Center in Brookhaven, the Fairmount Behavioral Health System and Friends Hospital in Philadelphia, Brooke Glen Behavioral Hospital in Fort Washington, the Horsham Clinic, and Foundations Behavioral Health in Doylestown.

More than 90,000 people are employed by Universal Health Services, and they serve an estimated 3.5 million patients per year, according to their website.

Their international headquarters are on 367 S. Gulph Road in King of Prussia.

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