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Europe’s Largest Private Hospital Hit By Crypto Ransomware Amid Pandemic

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Hackers infected the largest private hospital in Europe with ransomware.

Hackers infected the IT infrastructure of the largest private hospital in Europe with ransomware.

Cybersecurity news outlet, KrebsonSecurity, reported on May 6 that hackers compromised the IT systems of Germany-based private hospital, Fresenius. An anonymous source reportedly informed the outlet that the hospital’s systems were infected by the ransomware known as Snake.

The ransomware in question was discovered earlier this year, and is being actively used to target large businesses. Fresenius spokesperson, Matt Kuhn, reportedly confirmed to KrebsonSecurity that the hack took place:

“I can confirm that Fresenius’ IT security detected a computer virus on company computers. [...] As a precautionary measure in accordance with our security protocol drawn up for such cases, steps have been taken to prevent further spread. We have also informed the relevant investigating authorities.”

Kuhn also told the outlet that while some functions within the hospital are currently limited, patient care is still ongoing. He also said that Fresenius’ IT experts are currently working to solve the issues caused by the malware.

Ransomware groups attack healthcare providers amid the pandemic

Ransomware is believed by many to be the biggest threat among all existing malware. Given the strain that the coronavirus pandemic has placed on global healthcare systems, ransomware attacks on hospitals are of particular concern right now.

Cybersecurity firm, Emsisoft, has been offering free help to healthcare providers that fall victim to cryptocurrency-demanding ransomware since March. In April, Microsoft began notifying vulnerable hospitals to prepare for potential ransomware attacks.

Hackers continue to attack healthcare organizations despite a general fall in ransomware attacks amid the pandemic. At the end of April, hackers infected the infrastructure of the largest health center in Pueblo County, Colorado with ransomware. In late March, black hat hacker group, Maze, infected the infrastructure of a firm researching the coronavirus with ransomware.

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