Wed. Oct 27th, 2021


A ransomware gang referred to as Vice Society claims it grabbed confidential knowledge similar to affected person advantages, monetary paperwork and lab outcomes.

Young Asian male frustrated by ransomware cyber attack

Picture: Getty Pictures/iStockphoto

One other well being care supplier has apparently been the sufferer of a ransomware assault that uncovered non-public affected person data and different delicate knowledge. A ransomware group often called Vice Society has claimed accountability for an August assault towards United Well being Facilities that allegedly impacted all of its areas. The incident reportedly led to the theft of affected person knowledge and compelled the group to close down its whole community, BleepingComputer reported on Friday.

SEE: Safety Consciousness and Coaching coverage (TechRepublic)

BleepingComputer stated that it was knowledgeable of the assault on Aug. 31 by a supply within the cybersecurity trade. This supply revealed that the outage disrupted UHC’s IT system in any respect areas, prompting the group to re-image its computer systems and get well knowledge from offline back-ups.

Situated in California, United Well being Facilities is a well being care supplier with greater than 20 facilities in such cites as Fresno, Parlier, Sanger and Selma. BleepingComputer stated that it reached out to UHC a number of occasions for touch upon the reported assault, however the group has to this point not responded to any queries. TechRepublic additionally contacted UHC for remark.

Some ransomware gangs had promised to not hit hospitals and well being care organizations throughout the coronavirus pandemic, however such organizations proceed to be a tempting goal. With delicate affected person knowledge, medical information, lab exams and different important data, well being care amenities are sometimes extra prone to merely pay the ransom somewhat than danger publicity.

“Whereas specializing in affected person care, healthcare organizations battle to safe their affected person knowledge, as there’s a fixed stream of assaults towards them,” stated James McQuiggan, safety consciousness advocate for KnowBe4. “Most of them are profit-generating organizations and are keen to pay up, which is why we see cybercriminals proceed to focus on them. Not solely do cybercriminals harm the infrastructure, however the assault can harm the status of the group, and sufferers could also be cautious of offering delicate knowledge to them in worry of it being stolen.”

Vice Society is new to the ransomware recreation, having surfaced simply this previous June. The group appears to favor the healthcare trade as 20% of the victims listed on its knowledge leak website are healthcare firms, in keeping with BleepingComputer.

SEE: Ransomware assault: Why a small enterprise paid the $150,000 ransom (TechRepublic) 

And although just a few older ransomware teams should keep away from attacking hospitals, Vice Society apparently has no such restrictions. When requested by BleepingComputer why it targets healthcare organizations, the group responded with the next message:

“Why not?

They at all times maintain our non-public knowledge open. You, me and anybody else go to hospitals, give them our passports, share our well being issues and many others. they usually do not even attempt to defend our knowledge. They’ve billions of presidency cash. Do they steal that cash?

USA president gave huge quantity to guard authorities networks and the place is their safety? The place is our safety?

If IT division do not wish to do their job we’ll do ours and we do not care if it hospital or college.”

With affected person knowledge and different delicate data as danger, how can hospital and healthcare organizations higher fight ransomware assaults?

“Healthcare organizations have to put money into their staff’ training on social engineering assaults to assist them spot phishing emails and cut back the chance of assaults by cyber criminals by way of the human ingredient,” McQuiggan stated. “Essential techniques similar to affected person knowledge want fortifying with multi-factor authentication to scale back the chance of unauthorized entry by cyber criminals if they’re able to get contained in the community.”

Tim Erlin, VP of technique for Tripwire, provided further suggestions.

“Guaranteeing that you’ve got working backups is quick changing into an inadequate technique for coping with ransomware,” Erlin stated. “Criminals are adapting to an surroundings wherein organizations are higher ready for ransomware by copying knowledge along with encrypting it. With copied and encrypted knowledge, they are not solely ransoming the entry to your techniques, however you are additionally paying them to not launch the delicate knowledge they’ve. This cyber-blackmail method signifies that merely having backups is not sufficient to keep away from the potential harm.”

The objective is to focus not simply on responding to ransomware assaults however on stopping them, Erlin added. Implementing safety finest practices does decrease the percentages of a profitable assault. This implies ensuring that you just securely configure your techniques, patch vulnerabilities and stop phishing assaults.

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