NorthBay Health falls victim to cyberattack

NorthBay Health, which operates two hospitals and multiple clinics in Solano County, has been the victim of a systemwide cyberattack, the health care system confirmed Monday afternoon.

The attack happened two weeks ago, on April 1, said Diane Barney, director of marketing and communications at NorthBay Health. Barney directed further information to a NorthBay Health media statement she provided.

The Business Journal’s staff learned of the incident after being unable to access NorthBay Health’s website Monday.

“Upon detecting this incident, we launched an investigation and engaged leading external cybersecurity experts to support our response,” according to NorthBay’s statement. “We are working diligently to restore systems as quickly and as safely as possible.”

NorthBay has built a temporary website for updates, Barney said. The most recent update, posted April 10, reported NorthBay had “made significant progress toward full restoration.”

The update further reported that primary and specialty care appointments and elective surgeries are being held as scheduled, and that all imaging systems have been restored.

In addition, NorthBay’s urgent care clinics, labor and delivery department and emergency room are fully operational, according to the post.

In its media statement, NorthBay Health said its physicians and staff are “well-trained” to safely care for its patients using “established downtime procedures.”

NorthBay operates NorthBay Medical Center in Fairfield, NorthBay VacaValley Hospital in Vacaville, three primary care facilities — two in Fairfield and one in Vacaville — and numerous specialty care offices in both cities.

According to a July 12, 2022, report by The Daily Republic, the medical system reduced its then-total staff of 2,700 by 7%, leaving the last reported staffing levels at approximately 2,500.

Patients can access their patient portal here.

NorthBay Health isn’t the only hospital in the North Bay that has suffered a cyberattack.

Three and a half years ago, Sonoma Valley Hospital announced its computer system had been hacked. The hospital’s cybersecurity team, outside IT and forensics experts were able to block access and expel the cybercriminals from its system, the Business Journal reported at the time.

The “threat actor” was Ryuk, a “splinter group off a larger group in Russia,” Sonoma Valley Hospital’s then-CEO Kelly Mather said. Ryuk had been making demands of one to two million dollars of other hospitals, she had stated.

Sonoma Valley Hospital reported it did not pay any ransom.

It is not known if NorthBay Health’s cyberattack involved ransomware.

On a national level, Change Healthcare — part of UnitedHealth Group — was impacted by a cybersecurity incident in February, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The department in its report included a link for health care systems about how to prepare for a potential cyberattack.

Show Comment