Hospitals on high alert for possible Russia cyberattacks
Massachusetts hospitals have been warned to be on high alert for cybersecurity threats as the war in Ukraine continues. The warnings have come from several federal and industry organizations, including the White House, FBI, federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, and the American Hospital Association. In a bulletin to hospitals in early March, the CISA told hospitals to have “shields up,” saying “this current environment requires us all to be laser-focused on resilience.” On March 21, President Biden warned that the Russian government was exploring options for “potential cyberattacks.” “It’s a topical conversation we’re having frequently — what are we doing, are we doing enough, can we do more?” said Bruce Forman, a chief information security officer at UMass Memorial Health. Health care entities in Massachusetts and around the country have been victims of Russia-based cyberattacks in the past. In 2017, hackers with ties to Russia launched a destructive malware called “NotPetya.” According to a federal indictment against the hackers, the malware was aimed at Ukrainian banks, newspapers, and electricity companies.