Berkshire Health Systems plagued by malware; patient, payment data safe

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PITTSFIELD — Berkshire Health Systems has been impacted by computer malware this past week, but no patient health or payment information has been compromised, BHS spokesman Michael Leary stated on Thursday.

BHS Systems personnel began seeing evidence of this trend last weekend and brought in computer security experts to assist in identifying, containing and eliminating the malware.

Similar events caused by this same malware have occurred at businesses around the world, Leary said in a statement. On Tuesday, the FBI's Boston office contacted BHS to share information about this global threat.

BHS patient and payment information is protected by a sophisticated and secure system, Leary said.

BHS maintains comprehensive back-up systems so that its staff can continue to provide care to patients without having to rely on the systems that are affected.

The services that BHS provides in the community were uninterrupted at Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield, Fairview Hospital in Great Barrington, its Hillcrest and North Adams campuses, the Berkshire VNA, the organization's physician practices and BHS' affiliated long-term care facilities.

All physician appointments, hospital procedures and testing continue as they always have, according to the statement.

"Clinical and support staff has been exemplary in both their response to this situation and their dedication to provide the highest level of care to the community, and they have adapted to the extra burdens of this challenging situation so that we can continue to provide that care without interruption," Leary said in the statement.

"Our information technology response includes an extensive team of IT specialists, partnering with out software providers and outside experts in dealing with malware," Leary said.

"This response plan was immediately enacted upon discovery of the malware, and the team is working around the clock to address the effects of the malware and to restore our systems to their normal operations.

"It is unfortunate, but computer malware events have become more and more common for all businesses everywhere, and this is what BHS had invested considerable resources in information technology and security in order to address any computer issues that can arise," he said in the statement.

Contact Tony Dobrowolski at 413 496-6224.


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