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U.S. agencies warn that North Korean government hackers are attacking medical services with ransomware

(CNN)North Korean government-backed hackers used ransomware to target multiple healthcare institutions last year And in some cases health-damaging "long-term" services, the FBI and other US agencies warned on Wednesday.

North Koreans use ransomware (a type of malicious computer code that locks computer files) to host electronic health records, diagnostics and imaging services, FBI. , The Ministry of Finance, and the United States encrypted. The Cyber ​​Security and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) said in itsadvisorythat it requires healthcare organizations to enhance cyber security.

This means that state-sponsored hackers in countries such as North Korea and Iran are ready to deploy ransomware to the healthcare sector, a tactic often associated with non-national cybercriminals. The latest signs of.

June FBI Director Christopher Rayaccused hackers backed by the Iranian government in a "sneaky" cyber attack on Boston Children's Hospital last year, and Tehran denied. In that case, ransomware was not deployed, but Iranian hackers were subject to another US recommendationon ransomware in the medical sector in November.
Medical facilities already lacking resources due to Covid-19 had to deal with devastating ransomware attacks throughout the pandemic. One IT administrator at a 100-bed hospital in Floridatold CNNin January how to shut down a facility's computer system in January to prevent a ransomware attack from spreading throughout the hospital. Told to.

Speaks Russian, including one apparent ransomware incident in October 2020, when Vermont University was forced to postpone chemotherapy appointments in the fall of 2020. There was a wave of ransomware attacks on US hospitals by cybercriminals.

In Wednesday's recommendation, the US agency on Wednesday did not appoint an organization that was damaged by a suspected North Korean hacker.

The Health Information Sharing and Analysis Center, a cyber threat sharing group for major healthcare providers around the world, did not identify its members as victims, said Errol Weiss, Group Chief Security Officer. I am.

"I think the victim was a small organization and wasn't ready to handle the ransomware attack," Weiss told CNN.

For years, North Korea has built a formidable hacking force, believing in the stereotypes of a deprived country. The US government has accused Pyongyang of developing the so-calledWannaCry ransomwarein 2017. It has spread to more than 200,000 machines in 150 countries. The case cost more than $ 100 million for the UK National Health Service alone.

"North Korea is unique among its peers in that it is deeply and actively involved in cybercrime," said John Hartkisto, vice president of intelligence analysis for cybersecurity firm Mandiant. Says. "Unlike other countries that may contract and negotiate with domestic criminals, the North Korean state commits cybercrime directly against targets around the world."