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Hackers are currently targeting hospitals and healthcare providers with ransomware attacks, while many of those institutions are struggling with the COVID-19 corona virus pandemic.

SiliconAngle reports that a health district in Illinois and a hospital in the Czech Republic have been targeted by ransomware attacks, which has influenced corona virus testing.

The Champaign Urbana Public Health District in Illinois, which provides care to 210,000 people, was taken offline on March 10 by the MailTo (Netwalker) ransomware. The health district runs most of its services in the cloud, which meant the website was particularly affected by the attack. The consequences were therefore still foreseeable.

The second attack was launched at the University Hospital in Brno in the Czech Republic. Brno University Hospital is the second largest hospital in the country. On 14 March, ransomware was detected, which delayed the execution and results of corona virus tests throughout the hospital. In this case, the consequences are incalculable, and there is a good chance that ransom money has actually been paid. However, the details surrounding the attack in Brno are not exactly known.

Higher chance of success for hackers

It is clear that other centres and departments in the healthcare sector would do well to prepare and inform employees about an increased risk of ransomware attacks. Since encrypted files cannot be left unaccessible for a second in a situation like this, ransomware will tend to pay off. Cybercriminals are likely to respond to this; the ransom money earnings in this situation can be much greater in successful attacks.