Ryuk-ransomware targets hospitals during pandemic

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The Ryuk-ransomware continues to focus on hospitals during the corona virus crisis. Even a number of cyber criminals previously called for the situation not to be abused, but this is not being met by everyone.

The Ryuk-ransomware was used last month for attacks on 10 health organisations. Ryuk was thought to be a North Korean strain of ransomware, but in 2019 it turned out to be Russian hackers. In the US, the ransomware was used in a cyber attack on cities in Florida and a water company in North Carolina. Recently there was also an attack on the Mexican state (oil) company Petróleos Mexicanos. A health district in Illinois and a hospital in the Czech Republic were already targeted by ransomware earlier this month.

Help from security firms

Free help has already been made available by security firms for hospitals that are the target of ransomware attacks during the pandemic. Cybersecurity companies Emsisoft and Coveware, for example, announced that they offer free assistance to hospitals and other healthcare organisations that are targeted by ransomware attacks. A group of British security companies also started such a project.

Colin Bastable, CEO of security firm Lucy Security, told SiliconAngle that hackers are seizing this crisis with both hands in order to hit weak targets hard. He recommends security training of personnel. Bastable added: “Regular training through simulated, realistic attacks reduces people’s vulnerability tenfold.”