A "brazen and heartless" group of cybercriminals plans to unleash Ryuk Ransomware on hundreds of hospitals - potentially halting care.
Recently uncovered Dark Web chatter spurred an urgent US Government warning to healthcare providers.
These attacks can slow or halt operations at critical healthcare facilities.
According to Dark Web communications, the attackers have their eyes set on more than 400 healthcare facilities in the US. Beyond stealing sensitive (and valuable) data, they intend to cause chaos and disruption. Chaos and disruption seem to be the name of the game as we approach elections and live under Coronavirus restrictions.
"There truly are hundreds of medical facilities at imminent risk here."
The intercepted communications were mostly in Russian and tied back to the Ryuk Ransomware variant, which allows hackers to steal data before encrypting (i.e. locking) the network.
In response to the increased hacker chatter, the US Government issued urgent warnings to the nation's healthcare industry. Those warnings came jointly from the FBI, Department of Health and Human Services & Department of Homeland Security.
“...credible information of an increased and imminent cybercrime threat to US hospitals and healthcare providers.” - US Department of Health and Human Services
Cybercrime groups are demanding ever-higher ransoms, and the current spate of attacks follows suit. Initial ransom demands are starting at over $10 million! Sadly, cybercrime pays.
And if you're wondering - yes, these eye-watering ransom demands do get paid! This is why the US Treasury is cracking down on Ransom payments to hackers. In efforts to stop the flow of funds to illicit groups and sanctioned individuals, the US warned of strict penalties for those who do pay up.
The good news is that