Several hospitals targeting a new wave of ransomware attacks

A Trump administration official told CNN that several hospitals have been targeted in the attacks over the past two days, and while it is still too early, the official said the incidents could be connected. The federal government is investigating the attacks, the official said.

So far, Universal Health Services, a Pennsylvania-based hospital health care service company; St. Lawrence Health Systems in New York; And reg Sky Sky Lakes Medical Center in Reagan all confirmed to CNN that they were targeted in the last few days.

Experts with the cyber security firm, Mandent, said they identified at least three attacks on Tuesday and one on Wednesday, resulting in patients being diverted to other hospitals.

“We are experiencing the most significant cyber security threat ever in the United States,” said Charles Carmackle, SVP and CTO of Mendent. “An Eastern European financially motivated threatening actor, deliberately targeting and disrupting U.S. hospitals, forcing patients to turn to other healthcare providers. Patients can wait longer for serious treatment.”

Alan Liska, a futures intelligence analyst recorded by the firm, told CNN that his company knows of at least six attacks in the last 24 hours and that “there is more potential.”

“It’s the biggest thing we’ve ever seen. In terms of rinsomware, it’s the biggest attack we’ve ever had.” He added, “At the same time a lot of hospitals are being crushed to see the hits.”

Ransomware is a type of malware or malicious software that encrypts victim files. The attacker then demands a ransom from the victim to restore the access to the data after payment. Users are often shown instructions on how to pay a fee to obtain a decryption key. Costs can range from a few hundred dollars to thousands, most of which are payable to cybercriminals in Bitcoin.

Ransomware and other cyber attacks have seen a sharp rise this year and hospitals have been particularly weak since the onset of the global epidemic. Since July, hospitals in states including New York, Nebraska, Ohio, Missouri and Michigan have been attacked by some form of ransomware.

U.S. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In a statement from St. Lara’s Health Systems, the virus identified Rayuk as a new type of ransomware that was previously unknown to antivirus software providers and security agencies.

Universal said in a statement that upon learning of the attack, it “disconnected all systems and shut down the network to prevent further spread. Despite the network being offline flying, patient care was delivered safely and efficiently using back-installed on our facilities across the country.” Processes, including flyline documentation methods. “

It is not known who carried out the attacks, but overall, these incidents represent a tangible expansion of hospital targets in the short term that have sought to take advantage of hospital waste in the wake of the global epidemic.

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

According to Tom Burt, vice president of Customer Security and Trust at MicroSt. Is. RUK is attacking organizations, including municipal governments, state courts, hospitals, nursing homes, enterprises and large universities.

According to Burt, the Department of Defense, which is responsible for RUK, was targeting a North Carolina city contractor in Durham, an IT provider for 110 nursing homes and a number of hospitals during the Contid-19 epidemic.