At a time, when healthcare providers and medical facilities are toiling to handle the influx of patients suffering from COVID-19, countries such as the USA, some European countries, and many more have seen an avalanche of ransomware incursions, as criminal groups strive to take advantage of the crisis to attack this sector when it’s at its most venerable, according to several cyber-security professionals.
According to the sources- Microsoft and US Federal Agencies- cyber crimes have densely barraged on hospitals and other healthcare organisations.
These attacks have put millions of lives at peril during this alarming global pandemic. It is indicated that these onslaughts have been carried out by three hacker groups mainly from Russia and North Korea. As Microsoft refers, the Russian hacker group as ‘Strontium’ used a technique called ‘password spray’ helps to break into systems.
Strontium is understood to have been behind the act of disinformation and hacking of the 2016 United States presidential election and has been blamed for many other cyber-attacks.
The coronavirus catastrophe was just beginning to take hold in some countries, while pharmaceutical companies were in talks with other firms about potentially testing a vaccine.
The hackers used encryption to lock down thousands of the company’s patient records and threatened to publish them online if a ransom wasn’t paid.
It is believed that the current targets are colossal countries such as India, Canada, France, South Korea and the United States.
As stated by Paul Spain, Gorilla Technology CEO and Futurist, “Many New Zealand organisations related to healthcare are ill prepared for attacks.”
Spain concludes that, a lack of investment in cyber security is a key curb factor which urgently needs to be addressed both at a government level and with fund allocations internally within each organisation.