The Covid-19 pandemic has fueled ransomware attacks

Since the advent of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, ransomware attacks on hospitals and healthcare providers in the United States have increased in 2020. A recent report from a cybersecurity company confirms this rising trend. However, this phenomenon also affects other countries, such as Germany and France.

An increase in ransomware attacks on hospitals

In November 2020, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) issued a memo calling for vigilance against ransomware attacks. The Russian botnet Trickbot was indeed behind such attacks targeting dozens of hospitals in America. Keep in mind that this type of malware blocks machines and hijacks personal data by encrypting it. Then the owner gets a ransom in exchange for a key to decrypt the data to regain access.

Almost a year after the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, the FBI therefore called a threat of increasing cybercrime and threatening to hospitals and other healthcare providers. However, Info Security Magazine confirmed this increase in an article published in January 2021. The media reported on a report from cybersecurity firm Check Point, saying that ransomware attacks increased twice as fast in the health sector in the last two months of 2020.


A worldwide phenomenon

Check Point experts mentioned DDos attacks, but mainly pointed to a heavy use of ransomware, including Sodinokibi and Ryuk software. In addition, the amounts requested by hackers are said to have increased. In fact, the amount averaged $5,000 in 2018, compared to $200,000 in 2020. In addition to the moral considerations surrounding these attacks, this is a global phenomenon. international cooperation required. Indeed, other countries must face the same threat.

In September 2020, the university clinic in Düsseldorf (Germany) fell victim to a ransomware attack. Thus, by paralyzing the establishment’s computer system, the hackers forced transfer of a patient to another hospital for surgery. Unfortunately, this same patient died in transit.

In France, 2020 was a difficult year, but the attacks will continue in 2021. In February, the hospitals of Dax (Landes) and Villefranche-sur-Saône (Rhône) were hit. No death was mourned, but during the paralysis patient care had to be done in degraded mode. In addition, these branches have lost data, including: many patient records.