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Ascension restores online systems at Illinois hospitals following ransomware attack

Ascension restored electronic records systems at its Illinois hospitals about a month after a ransomware attack knocked them offline.

The hospital group serving Ascension Resurrection in Chicago, St. Alexius in Hoffman Estates and Alexian Brothers in Elk Grove Village said they were victims of a ransomware attack on May 8.

In what Ascension called an “unprecedented situation,” hospitals were forced to use paper documentation, which sent some ambulances to emergency departments in the first hours after the attack.

Ascension said it expects to restore electronic records at its remaining hospitals by Friday. Electronic systems were still down at hospitals in Indiana, Michigan and Washington on Tuesday

A group of hospitals based in St. Louis operates 140 hospitals in 19 states. In Illinois, Ascension operates 15 hospitals and 230 care centers.

Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago suffered a ransomware attack this year that crippled its phone, email and computer systems for six weeks.