(RightWing.org) – When we think about healthcare problems, usually we’d name Obamacare or the cost of new drugs, but we might be missing a bigger issue – ransomware. Online criminals are threatening our health providers, and the risk is growing every year.
Ransomware is malicious software that hijacks a computer and encrypts all the files on it. The only way to get your data back is to pay the ransom demanded by the attackers – usually in an untraceable cyber currency like Bitcoin – and hope they give you the key to decrypt your files again.
— Threatpost (@threatpost) December 16, 2020
Now cybercriminals are targeting healthcare systems for their demands. In November 2020, the University of Vermont health network was hit by a suspected ransomware attack that blocked access to patient records and meant hundreds of people missed appointments – including vital cancer treatments.
Healthcare systems are prime targets for ransomware for three reasons:
- They’re big businesses with a lot of money.
- The need to certify safety systems can take years, meaning software and hardware are often older and more vulnerable to attack.
- The files on their servers are vital.
A ransomware attack in Germany has already caused at least one death. Unless we crack down hard on cybercriminals, our health is in real danger.
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