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Following serious cyber attack, ECMC restoring online systems

WBFO file photo

It's been a busy week for the information technology department at Erie County Medical Center. Days after an online attack, they're restoring computer services to the hospital.

Officials say the hospital's website and patient data system are again operational. On Sunday, ECMC suffered a cyber attack, unleashing a digital virus on its networks.

Peter Cutler, Vice President of Communications for ECMC, explained that in the interim, doctors and other personnel have been using laptops to enter patient information. By Saturday, he told WBFO, staff should be able to enter updated information into the main system. 

Additional services, including email, are expected to be restored by the weekend.

"There's other aspects of the system that relate to some records and payroll information, things like that," Cutler said. "But we have contingencies in place to continue to work through that circumstance."

Employees, he noted, will be paid on schedule. 

A local television station reported, citing "sources," that the cyber attack unleashed "ransomware" on the hospital's network. Cutler would not confirm the type of virus that attacked the hospital's computers but said the investigation and the "sequential" restoration of other hospital computer systems are continuing.

Michael Mroziak is an experienced, award-winning reporter whose career includes work in broadcast and print media. When he joined the WBFO news staff in April 2015, it was a return to both the radio station and to Horizons Plaza.
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