U.S. Hospitals Turning Away Patients and Canceling Surgeries Due to Ransomware Attacks

Posted on Wednesday, 9th October 2019 @ 02:43 AM by Text Size A | A | A

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By B.N. Frank

Being targeted by cybercriminals is no laughing matter – especially for health care facilities.  Non-payment of ransomware puts lives at immediate risk.

Thanks to Threatpost for providing details about recently targeted hospitals, as well as plans being discussed to reduce risks:

Ransomware overall continues to be a concern for governments worldwide: The U.S. Senate this week in fact approved new legislation aimed at helping government agencies and private-sector companies combat ransomware attacks. The legislation comes as local governments and schools continue to be hit by sophisticated – and in some cases coordinated – ransomware attacks.

The proposed law, the “DHS Cyber Hunt and Incident Response Teams Act,” authorizes the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to invest in and develop “incident response teams” to help organizations battle ransomware attacks.  Part of that means that the DHS would create teams to protect state and local entities from cyber threats and restore infrastructure that has been affected by ransomware attacks.

 

For many years, security experts have been warning about the vulnerability of 5G and Internet of Things (IoT) technology.  IoT already has a 74% failure rate.  This hasn’t stopped the U.S. and other countries from forcing its installation (see 1, 2).  Cybercriminals must be pleased as punch.

Activist Post reports regularly about unsafe technology.  For more information, visit our archives.


Image credit: Pixabay

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A ransomware campaign that targeted twenty-three U.S. cities across Texas has raised serious concerns about the vulnerability of local governments and public services to cyber-attacks. These events come not long after similar attacks on governmental and business organizations in Indiana, Florida and elsewhere. They reflect a general shift in ransomware tactics from “spray and pray” attacks on large numbers of individual consumers, to “big game hunting”, which targets organizations, usually through people in positions of power.

A city employee clicking on a malicious link is being blamed for this recent cyber attack in Lake City, Florida.  Insurance will cover most of the ransom and taxpayers will cover the rest.  Argh.

A hacking tool developed by the US National Security Agency is now being used to shut down American cities and towns, says a Saturday report in The New York Times. Code-named EternalBlue, the hacking exploit involves malicious software and was leaked in 2017 by a group called Shadow Brokers. Hackers used the tool that same year in the worldwide WannaCry ransomware attacks, which locked up computer systems at hospitals, banks and phone companies and required a ransom to set the networks free. It was also used in the 2017 NotPetya assault against Ukraine, which has been called one of the most destructive cyberattacks ever.

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