FBI Warns of Potential Surge in Ransomware Attacks on Hospitals

hands typing on a laptop

In a joint statement from the FBI, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, and the Department of Health and Human Services, government officials have warned hospitals to be wary of a wave of ransomware attacks occurring across the country. According to an article from CNET:

The malware encrypts computers and prevents victims from being able to use them unless they pay the ransom. The ransom demands are often expensive, but it can be even more costly for victims who don't pay. When the city of Atlanta suffered a ransomware attack in 2018, it paid $2.6 million to recover from it, while the ransom itself was $52,000. In Germany, a patient died because a ransomware attack in September infected the nearest hospital when she needed urgent medical care.

Health systems have been facing an increased risk of cyberattacks since the COVID-19 pandemic began. Security teams struggling to cover security vulnerabilities caused by the increase in people working from home, new digital platforms and telehealth programs, and heightened anxiety around health have all made hospitals especially attractive targets, but there are still steps you can take to stay safe.

If your hospital has received such a threat, we recommend you work with your IT teams immediately to protect your hospitals, your networks, and your patients. If you have not received any such threat, please be on the lookout for RDoS (Ransom Denial of Service) threats. These should be treated as legitimate.

If you’re a Scorpion client, rest assured are taking all the necessary steps to ensure there is no disruption to your website services. We are well-protected, with a sophisticated layer 3/4 firewall, and an industry leading web application firewall. We are also looking into supplementary protective solutions to ensure that your website is not affected by any similar or novel attacks. Please feel free to contact your Solutions Team with any questions using your unique email distro.

Want to see how working with Scorpion can help you keep your hospital’s website secure, improve your patient experience, and advance your business goals? Just reach out to us today.