More Hospitals Hit by Growing Wave of Ransomware Attacks

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Two more hospitals were hit with ransomware attacks this week as a growing number of criminals target healthcare facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. The troubling trend prompted federal law enforcement and health officials, on Wednesday, to sound the alarm and issue a dire warning of more attacks to come.

On Tuesday, Klamath Falls, Ore.-based Sky Lakes Medical Center’s computer systems were compromised by a ransomware attack. On the same day, New York-based St. Lawrence Health System said computers at three of its hospitals (in Canton-Potsdam, Massena and Gouverneur) were attacked by the ransomware variant Ryuk. [...]

Late Wednesday, a joint statement by the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services the organizations warned of “credible information of an increased and imminent cybercrime threat to U.S. hospitals and healthcare providers.”

Sky Lakes Medical Center said that its computer systems were “down” and and that scheduled procedures that require imaging services will need to be delayed. “Emergency and urgent care remain available,” it said in a statement.

The St. Lawrence Health System meanwhile said that within hours of the initial attack, its information systems department “disconnected all systems and shut down the affected network to prevent further propagation,” according to a statement.
 
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