Cyberattacks in Arizona and Missouri have resulted in limited access to critical services for local residents. In Arizona, Mt. Graham Regional Medical Center (MGRMC), the primary healthcare provider for Graham and Greenlee Counties, experienced a cyberattack that affected its communication and information systems. The hospital is working with law enforcement and outside experts to assess the scope and impact of the incident, including the potential compromise of patient information. MGRMC is making progress in restoring systems and granting officials access to patient information but reassured that the disruption has had minimal impact on patient experience. Additionally, hospitals in various states have faced similar cyberattacks, causing ambulance diversions, appointment cancellations, and other disruptions that can potentially cost lives.
In Missouri, a St. Louis public agency called Metro Call-A-Ride, which provides services for people with disabilities, was targeted by hackers in a cyberattack. The agency informed customers that their phone systems and computer network were down due to the attack. Although Metro Transit, which operates the service, was able to continue its regular transit operations, the scheduling software for Metro Call-A-Ride was still being recovered, limiting the service to only life critical appointments. The reservation platform has since been restored, but efforts are ongoing to bring phone and computer lines back online. The cyberattack also affected the call center for purchasing tickets to the Gateway Arch.
Similar incidents have occurred in St. Louis County, where the Regional Justice Information System (REJIS) experienced a cyberattack, leading to the interruption of services for police officers, jails, municipal courts, and attorneys. Jail bookings and releases had to rely on paper records, and court cases were canceled for multiple days. Another cyberattack in a St. Louis suburb affected multiple local government systems.
While there is rarely direct attribution of deaths to cyberattacks, many experts inside and outside of government acknowledge that the delayed emergency response caused by ambulance diversions can have fatal consequences. It is crucial for government organizations and healthcare facilities to strengthen their cybersecurity measures to protect critical services and patient information.