It might seem odd at first, but the biggest problem plaguing hospitals and healthcare providers isn't a deadly disease or an influx of sick patients, but rather an outpouring of sick machines. Hackers and cybercriminals are spreading malware to infect, corrupt and extort healthcare organizations.
Sadly, this problem is expected to get worse over time. Keeping this in mind, recent ransomware attacks should be a wake-up call for medical providers around the world.
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To Petya or NotPetya?
June's NotPetya ransomware attacks startled a lot of businesses. The malware targets Microsoft Windows-based devices, infects the master boot record and prevents the system from booting. While the majority of victims were located in Russia and Ukraine, reported infections also came out of France, German, Italy, Poland, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Looking at the issues stateside, NotPetya infected:
For those who are wondering, NotPetya is similar to the Petya family of malware discovered in 2016. However, NotPetya has a few differences in operations. The worst of its modifications is that is cannot revert its own changes to the master boot record and therefore causes permanent damages to the device.
Of course, Petya and NotPetya are not the only forms of ransomware plaguing medical facilities. Cybercriminals have access to literally dozens of ransomware families available through the dark net.
But just because ransomware is on the rise doesn't mean you have to leave yourself open to attack. Below are a few tactics to steer your organization clear from cyber extortion:
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