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Several hospitals target new waves of ransomware attacks



Trump administration officials told CNN that in the past two days, several hospitals have been targeted by attacks. Although it is still early, the incident may be related to the incident. The official said that the federal government is investigating the attack.

So far, Universal Health Services, a hospital medical service company in Pennsylvania; St. Lawrence Health System in New York; and Sky Lakes Medical Center in Oregon, USA have confirmed to CNN the target of the attack in the past few days.

Experts from the cybersecurity company Mandiant said they detected at least three attacks on Tuesday and one on Wednesday, resulting in patients being transferred to other hospitals.

Charles Carmakal, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of Mandiant, said: “We are experiencing the worst cybersecurity threat in the history of the United States.”

; “Economically motivated threat actors in Eastern Europe deliberately targeted and destroyed US hospitals. Force them to transfer patients to other health care providers. Patients may have to wait longer to receive intensive care.”

Allan Liska, an intelligence analyst at the company Recorded Future, told CNN that his company has been aware of at least six attacks in the past 24 hours, and “maybe more.”

He said: “This is definitely the biggest incident we have ever seen. As far as ransomware is concerned, this is the biggest attack we have ever seen.” He added, “It is frustrating to see so many hospitals being hit at the same time. “

Ransomware is a type of malware or malicious software that encrypts the victim’s files. Then, the attacker usually asks the victim to provide a ransom to restore access to the data after payment. The user is often shown instructions on how to pay for the decryption key. The fees range from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars and are usually paid to cybercriminals in Bitcoin.

Since the beginning of this year, ransomware and other cyber attacks have risen sharply, and since the beginning of the global pandemic, hospitals have been particularly vulnerable to attacks. Since July, hospitals in New York, Nebraska, Ohio, Missouri, and Michigan have been attacked by some form of ransomware.

The US Cyber ​​Security and Infrastructure Security Agency did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In a statement from the St. Lawrence Health System, the virus has been identified as a new variant of Ryuk ransomware, previously unknown to antivirus software providers and security agencies.

Universal said in a statement that after learning of the attack, it “disconnected all systems and shut down the network to prevent further spread. When the network is offline, we use the established back-end system to spread across the country. Patient care is provided safely and effectively in the facilities. Process, including offline documentation methods.”

It is not clear who launched the attack, but in general, these incidents represent the steady expansion of hospital targets in the short term, and they are trying to take advantage of the secret love the hospital faces after the global pandemic.

Ransomware can have devastating effects. Recently, it disrupted the IT network of a German hospital, resulting in the death of a woman seeking emergency treatment.

According to Tom Burt, Microsoft’s corporate vice president responsible for customer security and trust, Ryuk is a complex encryption ransomware because it can identify and encrypt network files and disable Windows System Restore to prevent people from attacking without external backups. In recovery. Ryukyu has been attacking organizations including city governments, state courts, hospitals, nursing homes, companies, and large universities.

According to Burt, Ryuk was attributed to an attack on a contractor of the Department of Defense, the Department of Defense in Durham, North Carolina, who was responsible for 110 nursing homes and multiple hospitals during the Covid-19 pandemic. IT provider.


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