COVID-19 Complication: Ransomware Keeps Hitting Healthcare [bankinfosecurity]

As governments attempt to marshal the right response to the COVID-19 outbreak, their efforts are being complicated by malware – including ransomware – attacks continuing to hit healthcare organizations. Some of those facilities are not only treating patients with the disease but also serving as frontline virus-testing labs.

See Also: Role of Deception in the ‘New Normal’

With COVID-19 declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization, healthcare facilities in some countries have already been overwhelmed by the need to care for patients with severely compromised respiratory systems, as well as to rapidly test anyone they suspect of being infected.

Healthcare organizations continue to face hack attacks from criminals attempting to infect them with crypto-locking malware and then demand a ransom in return for the promise that they’ll unlock forcibly encrypted files.

“I really hope that bad guys step back in the coming weeks,” tweeted the administrator of the Swiss anti-malware service

I really hope that bad guys step back in the coming weeks and do not attack & encrypted hospitals with ransomware

HHS Network Attacked

Meanwhile, during a Trump administration press briefing on Monday, Alex Azar, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services’ confirmed a news report earlier in the day by media outlet Bloomberg that HHS systems had suffered an online attack over the weekend. Bloomberg reported that the incident involved a “campaign of disruption and disinformation” appearing to be aimed at undermining response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Azar said the incident involved “enhanced activity with [HHS] computers systems and website.” However, “there was no penetration, no degradation of the function of the networks … no data breach.” Also, the attack did not impact the ability of HHS employees to telework, he says.

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