Hospitals Receive Ransomware Alert

January 5, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced healthcare organizations to rethink technology deployment strategies in order to equip doctors and facility managers alike with the tools necessary to carry out their daily duties safely. Now hospitals are being warned that these technologies might have opened the door to ransomware problems.

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently issued a Joint Cybersecurity Advisory in light of “credible information of an increased and imminent cybercrime threat to US hospitals and healthcare providers,” according to JD Supra. The advisory comes as a warning to healthcare providers so they can take “timely and reasonable precautions” to secure and protect their networks against such attacks entering the new year.

The advisory finds that malicious cyber actors are increasingly targeting the healthcare sector with TrickBot and BazarLoader malware and then deploying ransomware, such as Ryuk, to infect and monetize networks.

The advisory warns that cybersecurity issues will be particularly challenging for healthcare providers within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The increased use of telehealth during the pandemic presents a ripe opportunity for attack to cybercriminals, an area that has already seen a nearly exponential increase in targeted attacks this year

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