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Kentucky Homeland Security Director on Cyber Attacks

Andrei Rancz/123 Stock Photo

Federal and state investigators are continuing to look into a cyber-attack against a health care system in eastern Kentucky and southern West Virginia.

Appalachian Regional Healthcare issued a statement in late August saying it had been hit by hackers, which caused the system to have limited access to internet-based services and electronic communications.

The Kentucky Office of Homeland Security is one of the groups that investigates cyber-attacks on businesses in the state.

Executive Director John Holiday says his office is getting an increasing number of reports of businesses being struck by “ransom ware,” which is used to steal information from companies.

Holiday says the hackers can then hold those records hostage.

“And they do what they please with it," he said. "They can destroy all the files, or they can hold the files for ransom. And what happens is they ask for a price, and what happens often are these businesses actually pay the price to get their information back.”

Holiday wouldn’t comment about whether or not the state or federal investigation into the attack on Appalachian Regional Healthcare has made any progress.

ARH issued a statement shortly after the cyber-attack, saying it was getting its online capabilities back to full speed.

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