World News – CA – Ransomware attacks on hospitals may soon increase, FBI warns


US officials warn hospitals to expect wave of ransomware attacks soon, urging healthcare providers to take precautions to protect themselves before hacks hit

In a joint warning from the FBI, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, and the Department of Health and Human Services on Wednesday evening, agencies said the Russian botnet Trickbot is targeting health and public services with attacks from ransomware

Malware encrypts computers and prevents victims from using them unless they pay the ransom Ransom demands are often expensive, but they can be even more expensive for victims who don’t pay When the city Atlanta suffered a ransomware attack in 2018, she paid $ 2.6 million to recover it, while the ransom itself was one-fifth of that, at $ 52,000 In Germany, a patient died because a September ransomware attack infected nearest hospital as she needed urgent medical attention

Attacks are now expected to hit hospitals in the United States with the arrival of a second wave of coronavirus infections

« CISA, FBI and HHS have credible information about a growing and imminent cybercrime threat to US hospitals and health care providers, » the agencies said in their warning

The ransomware is delivered via Trickbot, one of the largest botnets in the world It is exploited by Russian cybercriminals and is also used for other hacks, including encryption and financial data theft

Microsoft and other cybersecurity companies briefly removed the botnet via court order, but it resurfaced within days

Agencies said strain of ransomware used was likely Ryuk, a highly infectious ransomware attack active since 2018 The malware quietly settles into a network to gain as much access as possible before launching itself, sometimes shutting down the security systems that would have protected the victims

Cyber ​​security firm SonicWall said there was a 40% increase in ransomware attacks this year, with a massive peak in September The United States saw 1,452 million ransomware visits, an increase of 139% from last year, researchers say Ryuk ransomware strain accounted for a third of all ransomware attacks this year

Around the same time last year, SonicWall said it only detected 5,123 Ryuk infections, up from 673 million infections this year

« The increase in remote and mobile workforce appears to have increased its prevalence, resulting not only in financial losses but also impacting health services with attacks on hospitals, » said SonicWall Vice President of Platform Architecture Dmitriy Ayrapetov in a statement

Ryuk ransomware was behind the attack on Universal Health Services, which has 400 hospitals in the US and UK, and also targeted several cities The attacks come at a time when hospitals expect to treat more coronavirus patients On October 24, the United States set a one-day record with more than 83,000 new coronavirus infections

The attacks could allow US hospitals to divert patients in need of critical care and increase wait times, said Charles Carmakal, chief technology officer of FireEye’s Mandiant unit

“We are facing the biggest cybersecurity threat we have ever seen in the United States,” Carmakal said “Several hospitals have already been significantly affected by Ryuk ransomware and their networks have been taken offline”

FBI, CISA, and HHS urge healthcare providers to put in place backup plans in case they are affected by a ransomware attack Hospitals should back up critical information such as patient records and store offline and separate from their main network

They should also patch their software as soon as possible, turn off unused remote desktop access, and change passwords periodically, while using multi-factor authentication for protection, the agencies said

If hospitals get ransomware attack, agencies recommend not paying the fee Payments do not guarantee a hospital will be back online and could also encourage cybercriminals to launch future attacks

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Ransomware, Healthcare, Cyber ​​Attack, Computer Security

World News – CA – Ransomware Attacks on Hospitals May Increase Soon, FBI Warns



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