Hackers Put Patients at Risk By Targeting Hospitals

Hackers Put Patients at Risk By Targeting Hospitals

(RepublicanPress.org) – Cybercriminals continue targeting key infrastructure elements in the United States. They successfully shut down the East Coast’s Colonial Pipeline earlier this year and hacked the servers of a tech company providing cloud services to the Republican National Committee. However, the most recent effort represents a low point for online criminals.

On October 7, cybersecurity company Mandiant issued a stunning report detailing the Terrorist Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures (TTP) of a prolific group of hackers called FIN12 to launch ransomware attacks on American healthcare facilities. According to the report, the “financially motivated threat actor” has targeted hospitals, clinics, and other medical facilities for at least three years.

Mandiant CEO Kevin Mandia told CBS News his firm issued the report to shed light on exactly how FIN12 fits into the current ransomware ecosystem and what makes it a unique threat. By exposing their operations, he hopes the public can begin effectively defending itself against future attacks.

As Mandiant reported, ransomware attacks on healthcare facilities are particularly distressing. For example, they can hinder day-to-day operations like blocking access to patient records and interfering with the transmission of x-ray images and other potentially life-saving reports.

The chances of quickly obtaining high-ransom payments from medical facilities make them ripe targets for criminal operators like FIN12. Mandiant estimated health and medical-related facilities make up nearly 20% of the hacking organization’s victims. Making matters worse, FIN12 currently directs most of its ransomware attacks on American targets.

Cybersecurity experts say the United States needs to impose greater punishments on cybercriminals to curb the growing attacks on hospitals and other medical facilities. As Mandia pointed out, online groups like FIN12 will continue operating as long as they can continue raking in millions of dollars.

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