Home Internet Here’s what caused Internet outages in Evansville

Here’s what caused Internet outages in Evansville

EVANSVILLE – Evansville schools, libraries and hospitals have battled widespread Internet outages over the last couple days brought on by multiple sources.

On Wednesday, as the area braced for repeated waves of severe weather, both the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corp. and the public library system saw their access go down.

Both receive service through Educational Networks of America, a service provider that specializes in schools and libraries. Becca Scott and Jason Woebkenberg, spokespeople for the EVPL and EVSC, respectively, said the outages were sparked by a damaged fiber optic line somewhere between Indianapolis and Evansville.

Both were back online by Thursday morning. An issue at Ascension St. Vincent, meanwhile, is much more complicated.

According to the Indianapolis Star, more than 140 hospitals in the chain nationwide detected suspicious activity Wednesday and quickly checked to see if sensitive information had been compromised.

“We responded immediately, initiated our investigation and activated our remediation efforts,” an Ascension spokesperson wrote in a statement to the newspaper. “Access to some systems have been interrupted as this process continues.”

Customers have reported issues filling subscriptions, among other problems. In Michigan, it’s basically forced hospitals to go back in time.

One physician told the Detroit Free Press that lack of Internet service left them without access to medical records, labs and X-rays, and made placing orders impossible.

“We have to write everything on paper. It’s like the 1980s or 1990s. You go to the X-ray room to look at the X-rays on film, you call the lab they tell you what the results are over the phone,” the physician said. “So it’s just much more cumbersome, but we do have training for these moments.”

Another physician was even more blunt: “It’s affecting everything.”

Cyber attacks against hospitals have been on the rise in recent years. According to a 2022 analysis by the credit rating S&P, instances have jumped by 50% since 2020, making medical systems the biggest cyber-crime target in the country.

In a statement to the Courier & Press, Ascension St. Vincent spokeswoman Miranda Meister said staff is “trained for these kinds of disruptions and have initiated procedures to ensure patient care delivery continues to be safe and as minimally impacted as possible.

“We have engaged Mandiant, a third party expert, to assist in the investigation and remediation process, and we have notified the appropriate authorities. Together, we are working to fully investigate what information, if any, may have been affected by the situation. Should we determine that any sensitive information was affected, we will notify and support those individuals in accordance with all relevant regulatory and legal guidelines.”



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