Healthcare in the Crosshairs: Hospitals and Research Facilities Targeted for Cyberattacks
After news broke of several targeted cyberattacks against airports and hospitals in the Czech Republic late last week, the U.S. Department of State issued a warning decrying such attacks and stressing the United States’ zero-tolerance policy for such attacks.
“As the world battles the COVID-19 pandemic, malicious cyber activity that impairs the ability of hospitals and healthcare systems to deliver critical services could have deadly results,” the statement warned. It continued, “Anyone that engages in such an action should expect consequences. We call upon the actor in question to refrain from carrying out disruptive malicious cyber activity against the Czech Republic’s healthcare system or similar infrastructure elsewhere.”
Just a day earlier, Tonya Ugoretz, deputy assistant director, FBI Cyber Division, expressed concerns over increased cyberattacks against healthcare research facilities during a panel discussion presented by The Aspen Institute last Thursday.
“We certainly have seen reconnaissance activity – and some intrusions – into some of those institutions, especially those that have publicly identified themselves as working on COVID-related research,” she said during the discussion.
Hospitals and medical research facilities should be on high alert for increased cyber threats and remind employees to be wary that they may be targeted with phishing emails.