Another Hospital Network Infected By Ransomware

Another hospital in the US has been infected by ransomware trying to extort money from the sawbones. This is the Methodist Hospital in Kentucky.

We’ve notified the FBI, we’re dealing with federal authorities on how to deal with it,” the hospital’s chief operating officer David Park explained.

Depending upon the number of records that were locked, depends upon whether we’re going to consider looking into whether we pay anything or not.”

From the affected hospital reported that all patients’ files had been copied, encrypted, and the originals were deleted after that. According to the hospital’s report, the backups are up to date and accessible, so it’s keeping calm and carrying on.

The hackers follow a pattern of ransomware scum going after hospitals, where locking up a patients’ information is a life or death issue. A month ago, the Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center paid a ransom of $11,900 to get their documents decrypted. Also, similar attacks have been reported in some other healthcare centers worldwide.

According to Caleb Barlow, VP at IBM Security, the medical data is the new goldmine among hackers who were previously infiltrating sales registers. Barlow also said that a stolen and authenticated credit card number is worth a few dollars online, though full medical records that can be used for insurance fraud are much more valuable.

In addition, Barlow cited a case where an IBM staffer had had to physically go to his insurer’s offices to prove there was no operation scar to get a refund on a $20,000 fraudulent bill.

Looks like the Methodist Hospital has the tools to defeat this attack: continuous and reliable backup and an IT department that knows what it’s doing. However, considering the success of the Hollywood operation, copycats will certainly follow.

In the past, we haven’t seen crimes in such a large scale like Methodist,” the Kentucky State Police trooper Shane Settle stated. “In general, the more a criminal commits a crime, the more confident they get, especially if they get away with it. I think that’s what you’re seeing here is they are shooting for a much larger target and more money.”

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