400 hospitals in the United States are a potential target of an unprecedented bitcoin ransomware attack as the Ryuk ransomware already delayed surgeries and diverted ambulances. The authorities started preparing for a nationwide attack as we are reading more in today’s bitcoin scam news.
A criminal organization named Wizard Spider or UNC-1878 is behind most of the attacks according to authorities. Dozens of hospitals were targeted with hundreds more in danger and authorities started preparing and warning hospitals to bolster their security systems and avoid a potential disaster. The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security are among the few governmental agencies that warned of a coordinated Bitcoin ransomware attack that is meant to destroy the systems of 400 hospitals in the country. This way, the entire healthcare system of the country will be destroyed.
FBI, DHS, HHS warn of "imminent," "credible" ransomware threat against U.S. hospitals. One source said the Ryuk ransomware gang is targeting more than 400 hospitals, clinics and medical care facilities. https://t.co/Uvs0DokrGY
— briankrebs (@briankrebs) October 29, 2020
Following a report on KrebsOnSecurity, an independent news outlet, the FBI revealed that already there were dozens of hospitals that were attacked. Six institutions were attacked in one day in New York, California, and Oregon. Sky Lakes Medical Center in Oregon had to delay surgeries when the attack froze their hospital records. The Lawrence Health System in New York suffered similar attacks in two hospitals which made the hospitals having to re-direct ambulances that responded to emergencies.
Hundreds of hospitals are in danger from the cyber criminals that are using the Ryuk ransomware that encrypts data on hard drives after it enters. The researchers estimated that the attack was responsible for one-third of all global ransomware attacks this year. the FBI stated that since the launch in 2018, Ryuk netted about $61 million in BTC as the ransomware attacks are multiplying and even targeting police stations and city government offices. Security analyst Allan Liska from the cybersecurity company Recorded Future said that the criminal activities represent a “coordinated attack designed to disrupt hospitals specifically all around the country.” Liska continued that the attacks were launched each week but now they are becoming unprecedented.
Charles Carmakal, the senior vice president of cyber response company Mandiant said that Wizard spider was “one of the most brazen, heartless and disruptive” groups that he encountered in his career. The New York Times even reported a leaked communication from Wizard Spider that was intercepted by Hold Security as one hacker said:
“We expect panic.”
The group aims to get a hold of the patient data stored on the hospital servers and they want to encrypt the information until a ransom is paid in Bitcoin. encrypting the data will make it nearly impossible for the healthcare staff to access patient records and administer care.
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