"It had a devastating effect on our office."

Under Attack

Hundreds of dentists got an unwelcome surprise when they went to work Monday morning.

Over the weekend, a group of cavities hackers attacked PerCSoft and the Digital Dental Record, a pair of Wisconsin companies that provide an online B2B service to dentists across the nation.

This allowed the hackers to deploy ransomware on the computers at an estimated 400 dentists' offices, essentially locking up the dentists' computer networks until the two companies providing the online service paid a ransom.

Kick in the Teeth

Once the companies met the hackers' demands, they received a decrypter to recover the files. However, the recovery process has been slow, with Digital Dental Record spokesperson Brenna Sadler telling CNN the companies have only restored about 100 of the affected dentist offices' files.

"It had a devastating effect on our office," Milwaukee dentist Paul Levine told CNN on Thursday. "Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, until this morning when they got us up running, we were not able to see half of our patients because we were handicapped from taking x-rays. You can't see an emergency patient without an x-ray. You can't see a new patient without x-rays."

Hands Tied

This is far from the first time hackers have used ransomware to extort payments — we've already witnessed attacks on hospitals, local governments, and even video gamers.

Unfortunately, this latest attack seems to confirm that, right now, most victims are finding themselves with little recourse but to meet the hackers' demands — and unless that changes, hackers are unlikely to stop making those demands any time soon.

READ MORE: Hundreds of dental offices crippled by ransomware attack [CNN]

More on ransomware: 23 Local Governments in Texas Slammed by Ransomware Attack

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