ME: York Animal Hospital hit by ransomware, lost all patient records for past four years.

Camille Fine reports:

The team at York Animal Hospital has nearly finished manually reentering inventory data that was lost to a ransomware attack that wiped all patient records from the past four years.

“Five phone lines have been ringing off the hook,” owner Bill Walak said Monday. “We’ve been inundated all day.”

People have been calling to make appointments and give the hospital as many records of their pets that they can find since the cyberattack over the Fourth of July weekend erased the hospital’s entire server and all backup data, according to York Animal Hospital’s owners.

All that was left were a few paper records and some saved emails.

Read more on Seacoastonline.

Apart from the usual outrage about “Who did this and let’s find them and shoot them” reactions many of us may feel, this news report is also discouraging for this:

Based on information in the ransom demand, Walak said he suspects the attack originated from Russia, based on the letter he received.

“I didn’t even know something like this could happen, and I was paying our software company to set up the system.”

It’s 2021. How did they not know this could happen? Have there not been enough warnings? Have veterinary organizations not been clear enough educating members? How could they have no idea that this was not only a possibility, but a reasonable probability? How did they not have a recent backup?  Is there a veterinary national association newsletter that should highlight this incident as a cautionary tale with specific advice to members, or has that been done already?  And if it’s been done already, do it again.

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