The hacking incident that has recently affected Burien’s St. Anne Hospital was due to a ransomeware attack, officials announced on Thursday, Oct. 13, 2022.

As we previously reported, the hack caused several outages at the hospital since at least Oct. 5, and also affected all VMFH facilities.

We heard reports from concerned relatives of some patients, including one who said that even the elevators weren’t working, and that patient records and lab results were unavailable as well.

St. Anne is part of Virginia Mason Franciscan Health (VMFH), whose parent company, CommonSpirit Health, was the victim of the ransomware attack, where hackers demand payment after taking over, locking down and disabling software systems.

“Upon discovering the ransomware attack, CommonSpirit took immediate steps to protect our systems, contain the incident, begin an investigation, and ensure continuity of care,” officials said in a statement. “Patients continue to receive the highest quality of care, and we are providing relevant updates on the ongoing situation to our patients, employees and caregivers. Patient care remains our utmost priority and we apologize for any inconvenience this matter has created.”

The company says that its facilities are following existing protocols for system outages, which includes taking certain systems offline, such as electronic health records.

“In addition, we are taking steps to mitigate the disruption and maintain continuity of care,” they added. “To further assist and support our team in the investigation and response process, we engaged leading cybersecurity specialists and notified law enforcement. We are conducting a thorough forensics investigation as we restore full functionality and reconnect our systems.”

It is unknown yet whether CommonSpirit has capitulated and paid the hackers.

“Central to our decision-making has been and will continue to be our ability to carry out our mission in a manner that is safe and effective to those we serve,” CommonSpirit said.