De: Klinikum Lippe hospital decrypts data after “intensive negotiations” with ransomware attackers

Notice on Klinikum Lippe's web site reads (translation): "The Klinikum Lippe can currently only be reached by telephone and fax - patient care is ensured."
Notice on Klinikum Lippe’s web site alerts people that it can only be reached by telephone and fax (translation).

The Klinikum Lippe describes itself as one of the largest municipal hospitals in Germany and part of the University Hospital OWL of the University of Bielefeld. On November 17, they detected a significant cyberattack that impacted all three of their locations: Detmold, Lemgo, and Bad Salzuflen.

From its own statements, it appeared that the hospital might have negotiated a payment with the unnamed threat actors yesterday to get a decryption key. As of November 30, their most recent update states, in part (translation):

After intensive negotiations with the blackmailers, it was possible yesterday to receive the necessary data for decrypting the systems. We can therefore assume that the cyber attack has ended, but this does not mean that it will not have any further effects. Unfortunately, we have to assume that there may be ongoing disruptions to the IT systems.

By immediately disconnecting from all external networks after the attack became known, further damage could be prevented, whereby the isolation for securing and restoring the IT systems is still ongoing and the Klinikum Lippe will basically set them up again.

Among other things, this means that in the coming days we will continue to be available from outside only by telephone or fax.

Additional details are available on the hospital system’s incident update page.

Did they intensively negotiate an agreed-upon payment or did they just negotiate and get the attackers to give them a key without any payment? The former seems more likely, but Radio Lippe reports that there was no payment:

There was no ransom payment, it said when asked by Radio Lippe from Detmold. That’s unusual. The blackmailers have probably realized that the hospital is a critical infrastructure and released the data for decrypting the systems without payment, it said.

This story was updated and edited after learning that Radio Lippe was told that there was no ransom payment. That seems… surprising.

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