October 3, 2023

A hospital in Illinois shutting it doors permanently due in part to a cyberattack – a rare case of a health care provider publicly linking a hack incident to its closure.

The 2021 cyberattack on St. Margaret’s Health, a hospital in Spring Valley, Illinois, hobbled computer systems for months and prevented it from filing insurance claims.

Federal officials have tried to harden hospital computer systems and give them early warning about potential hacks. But resources are at a premium and many health care organizations are still falling prey to ransomware groups.


Many health care organizations targeted in hacks are central to their local communities and have to call in the FBI or private forensics specialists for help. St. Margaret’s Health is Spring Valley, a town of some 5,000 people that is about 100 miles southwest of Chicago.

Researchers have tallied scores of ransomware attacks per year on American health clinics in recent years, but that is likely an undercount because some clinics do not publicly disclose the hacks.

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