Ransomware Hits Dozens of Hospitals in an Unprecedented Wave
A string of ransomware attacks has hit US hospitals as they struggle to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The attacks come just hours after the FBI and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) warned of an imminent cybercrime threat to health care providers, holding a conference with industry leaders. The analysis pointed to the use of the Ryuk ransomware and Trickbot Trojan, two notorious tools used by sophisticated threat actor groups.
The attacks may be tied to a Russian criminal gang referred to as Wizard Spider, known for operating the Ryuk ransomware. Despite the upward trend in the number of ransomware attacks per year, researchers have found that the average ransom demand has increased from $5,000 in 2018 to $200,000 this year. Hospitals are an appealing target due to the fact that attackers can threaten patient care, creating a maximum sense of urgency to pay ransom demands.