Many hospitals across the country have been subjected to ransomware attacks by an unknown cybercriminal. These attacks seem to be an escalation of similar attacks that had been previously launched on other medical facilities. This increase in cyber criminal activity has led to the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency to release a warning advisory to the activity in targeting health care facilities. 

"There is an imminent and increased cybercrime threat to U.S. hospitals and healthcare providers."

                        ~Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency

The advisory states, "CISA, FBI and (the Department of Health and Human Services) have credible information of an increased and imminent cybercrime threat to U.S. hospitals and healthcare providers. CISA, FBI and HHS are sharing this information to provide warning to healthcare providers to ensure that they take timely and reasonable precautions to protect their networks from these threats."

It is believed the cyber criminals are using Ryuk, a sophisticated crypto-ransomware that identifies and encrypts network files and disables Windows System Restore to prevent people from being able to recover from the attack without external backups. Ryuk has been attacking organizations, including municipal governments, state courts, hospitals, nursing homes, enterprises and large universities, according to an article posted by CNN. The article then goes on to say that Ryuk has been attributed to attacks targeting a contractor for the Department of Defense, the North Carolina city of Durham, an IT provider for 110 nursing homes and a number of hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For information regarding ransomware attacks and how to keep yourself from being vulnerable to these types of attacks, click here.

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