Corona Virus Testing Center Hit By Cyberattack! Hospitals around the world are dealing with ever-growing waves of COVID-19 infections but cybercriminal activity is hampering efforts at one testing center in Europe.
Information networks were shut down at University Hospital Brno in the Czech Republic on Friday due to a cyber-attack that occurred in the early hours of the day.
This comes at a time when the country has more than 140 confirmed infections and about 4,800 people are in quarantine. The Government has declared a state of emergency and placed stringent border crossing restrictions.
One of the 18 laboratories that the Czech Republic uses to search for the new coronavirus is located at the University Hospital Brno. The institution’s done up to 20 tests a day since the outbreak.
What Was Affected By The Attack?
Few information was released about the attack which took place about 2 a.m. on Friday morning. Local Clock Time. The existence remains unclear but if it were a ransomware incident it would not be a surprise. The hospital’s web site was down March 14th.
The results of COVID-19 tests in the past few days, estimated at hundreds, have been delayed because of the attack. Having the results usually takes a day.
According to the Czech News Agency (ČTK), hospital director Jaroslav Štěrba told reporters that computer systems had “falling gradually” and “had to be shut down.” Staff members were advised not to turn on machines.
Networks supporting laboratories such as hematology, microbiology, biochemistry, tumor diagnosis, or radiology tend to be on a network separate from the affected networks as they continue to operate.
Basic operations at the hospital are still possible and despite the attack patients are still under investigation. Medical data obtained by laboratory systems, however, are trapped there, and can not be registered in databases.
The National Cyber and Information Security Agency (NÚKIB) has been called in and is working on finding the source of the problem and on remedying the situation. The case is also involved in by the National Organized Crime Network.
Malware Targeting COVID-19 Fears
Some ransomware operators, like Maze, intentionally avoid targeting critical services. They mentioned online that they “don’t attack hospitals, cancer centers, maternity hospitals and other socially vital objects.”
Many attackers involved in ransomware, however, have no problem targeting healthcare units. SamSam Ransomware reached at least two US hospitals at the beginning of 2018.
Ryuk Ransomware shows no regret in targeting hospitals, however. DCH hospitals in Alabama last year charged what the cyber criminals demanded for the key to decryption that unlocked the medical data.
Other threat actors are also seeking to capitalize on this global health crisis and have developed malware or launched COVID-19-themed attacks. BEC scammers are using the outbreak in an effort to convince victims to transfer money to a different account, a new ransomware strain discovered this week.
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