Malware, Phishing, Ransomware

Interpol warns hospitals about COVID-19-based ransomware threat

Interpol is warning hospitals and healthcare organizations to be aware that cybercriminals are ramping up the number of ransomware attacks targeting their facilities.

Although it did not provide any statistics, Interpol has noted a significant increase in attacks taking place while these medical facilities are expending all their energy battling Coronavirus. The agency has issued a Purple Notice alerting police in all its 194 member countries to the heightened ransomware threat. A Purple Notice is a request for information on modus operandi, objects, devices and concealment methods used by criminals.

“Cybercriminals are using ransomware to hold hospitals and medical services digitally hostage, preventing them from accessing vital files and systems until a ransom is paid,” the international law agency said.

The malware is primarily being spread through phishing emails that falsely claim to contain information or advice regarding the coronavirus from a government agency. The person is told the information is included in the attached document, which if opened downloads malware onto the device.

Interpol is also offering cybersecurity support, mitigation tools and advice to its members and is in the process of collecting, analyzing and cataloging suspicious internet domains related to COVID-19, with the intention of working with local law enforcement to take action against the cybercriminals.

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