The head GP at a private doctor’s surgery switched on his computer on a Monday morning to be greeting with a message stating that every single patient record on the network had been encrypted and that a sum of £30,000 was to be paid in bitcoin in exchange for the decryption key.

The insured contacted an IT forensics firm who confirmed that the level of encryption meant that it was going to be almost impossible to access the data without the encryption key and that the only other alternative was wiping the network of the ransomware which could lead to all data files being deleted.  It had been a week since the last software backup, meaning crucial patient data would be lost – and so the ransom was paid.  Forensics were then engaged to remove any remaining malware from the network at a cost of £10,000.

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