If there was any lingering hope that cybercriminals would show mercy on health care providers during the COVID-19 crisis -- as some claimed they would do -- that pipe dream evaporated with the news that various ransomware groups attacked Fresenius, Europe’s largest private hospital operator, as well as a pair of U.S.-based plastic surgery clinics.

Krebs on Security reported today that Germany-based Fresenius, which also provides dialysis services, drugs and medical devices, has experienced disruptions across its global operations after being hit with the malicious Snake encryptor. Early reports of Snake first emerged in January 2020, as cyber experts took note of the ransomware's unusual behavior of killing named process related to ICS solutions and SCADA systems, potentially placing OT environments at risk.

"I can confirm that Fresenius' IT security has detected a computer virus on company's computers in a number of areas," a spokesperson said in an email to SC Media. "As a precautionary measure in accordance with the security protocol drawn up for such cases, steps have been taken to prevent further spread. Nevertheless, our production continues, with certain limitations. Also our patient care continues. Our hospital business, for example, is not affected at all."

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