Security audit specialists report that at least five U.S. medical services companies have suffered ransomware attacks over the past week. While some of the affected organizations have been operating without their computer systems, others have decided to give in to the demands of hackers and pay the demanded ransom.
NEO Urology, a medical services company in Ohio, USA, was infected with a malware variant; in response, hospital directors announced their decision to pay the $75k USD ransom demanded by the attackers. The company’s systems were completely restored three days later.
Just hours later, Estes Park Health, based in Colorado, reported a similar incident. About two weeks ago, the company’s security audit staff detected that some of its computer systems had some anomalies. One of the company’s employees connected to the system from home and discovered that the ransomware had taken control of the company’s programs, files and data. After discovery, the system was shut down, including servers and access to the data center.
Another of the companies affected by ransomware is Boston-based ResiDex Software that develops solutions to help people with disabilities; this firm has begun notifying its patients of the infection that it has encrypted a significant portion of the health information held by the company.
Company officials mention that the ransomware attack was discovered on April 9 and impacts all of its server infrastructure. According to the company’s security audit experts, the process of resetting systems using backups is now underway.
On the other hand, the experts also reported a ransomware incident against New York-based Olean Medical Group. One official claims that hackers failed to access the more than 40,000 medical records the company safeguards. Shingle Springs Health and Wellness Center is the most recent victim of this campaign, as about a month ago it reported a ransomware infection on its servers; the company’s IT systems stopped working and access to their databases was blocked.
According to experts from the International Institute of Cyber Security (IICS), ransomware attacks against private companies increased by 195% during the first half of 2019; In addition, it is estimated that 70% of all registered cyberattacks in the world are ransomware attacks.