More Ransomware Attacks to Come
Healthcare led all other service industries in data breaches last year, according to Symantec’s 2016 Internet Security Threat Report.
Ransomware infections are largely opportunistic attacks that mainly prey on people who search the Web using outdated browsers or plugins. Most ransomware attacks have taken advantage of exploit kits (malicious code) that when stitched into a hacked site probes visiting browsers for the presence of vulnerabilities.
The recent attacks on Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center in Los Angeles, Methodist Hospital in Kentucky, and now MedStar Health in Baltimore are all forms of “opportunistic attacks” that came in via spam email, in messages stating something about invoices and that recipients needed to open an attached (booby-trapped) file. A ransom request then follows to the infected organization, demanding payment in order to get its files back.
Ottawa Hospital (Ontario, Canada) recently reported that malware encrypted four computers in its network of 9,800, making information on them inaccessible. No patient information was compromised, according to the hospital. The infected machines were wiped clean and the data restored through backups. The best way to protect against ransomware attacks, experts agree, is to have a backup system, whether in a cloud network or some reserve outside of the IT network where hackers can’t get to it. Ottawa Hospital was able to recover easily thanks to having backup copies of its data.
Read more about these hospitals (and other organizations) impacted by ransomware in the articles below:
Internet Security Threat Report
- AHA News
What Hospitals Need to Know About Aansomware
- ARS Technica
OK, panic—Newly Evolved Ransomware is Bad News for Everyone
- Healthcare IT News
Hackers Hit Two California Hospitals with Ransomware
- Newsweek Tech & Science
Ransomware Wreaking Havoc In Hospitals