Last week cybercriminals in Russia attacked the Ireland Health System’s information technology system, holding patient and employee data for a steep $19,999,999 ransom.
The AP reports that the group, Wizard Spider, has taken down over 2,000 patient-facing systems linked to over 80,000 devices. Hundreds of experts across the country have been asked to help bring the state-funded Health Service Executive (HSE) back online.
Healthcare professionals have canceled or delayed thousands of regular diagnostic appointments, Covid-19 tests and vaccinations, surgeries, and cancer treatments since the hack took place. Throughout the country, hospital administrators are asking people not to visit for anything less than an emergency.
Wizard Spider took over the system through a zero-day method and have threatened to release or sell the data if Ireland doesn’t pay the ransomware “very soon”. The organization has access to records of every employee and patient in the health system.
The Irish prime minister says he will not pay and refuses to be blackmailed by hackers. But IT professionals say it could be weeks before the network is back online. Until then, hospitals are working, for the most part, by hand.
Ransomware attacks are happening daily. And unfortunately, small and medium businesses are at risk just as much as large ones. Contact us to discuss how we can create a security plan that works for you.
Featured image from The New York Times.