Early in the morning on Sunday, December 9, a ransomware attack was set in motion against the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS).

At approximately 4:30 in the morning, the attack was first noticed by UMMS’s IT department. Within two and a half hours, the affected systems were taken offline and potentially infected computers quarantined.

The Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer for UMMS, Jon Burns, clarified the incident in a statement. He said: “The measures we took to identify the initial threat, isolate it to prevent intrusion, and to counter and combat the attack before it could infiltrate and infect our network worked as designed.”

He added: “None of our systems were encrypted with a ransomware-type virus, and, at this time, we have no indication that any patient data or records were compromised.”

The attack affected only 250 of the system’s 27,000 devices, which are scattered across 150 locations. Fortunately, after examination these devices – mostly desktop computers – were later found to be devoid of any ransomware infections.

UMMS is now working closely with various law enforcement agencies and a forensics team in an effort to discover the attack’s point of origin, as well as uncover the parties responsible for the attempted intrusion.

This failed breach comes on the heels of a similar attack in Ohio, another in Rhode Island, and the indictment of two Iranian hackers in connection with SamSam.

Now more than ever, it is critically important to have a counter-intrusion response ready at a moment’s notice to repel attacks like these before they can gain a foothold in your systems. HIPAAgps can help provide vital information for building your response today!