As if hospitals in the US weren’t getting hit hard enough, hackers have found a way to infect the Parkview Medical Center in Colorado with ransomware. As the largest health center in Pueblo County, the Parkview Medical Center holds a plethora of patient information within its infrastructure. The ransomware installed makes the central system inoperable which can be quite an issue given the current pandemic situation. The hackers are demanding payment in cryptocurrency in exchange for an encryption key to restore the system back to normal.
How does crypto ransomware work?
The crypto community is no stranger to ransomware attacks. It is important to always stay vigilant and to always make sure you browse the internet and download files from reputable places.
How ransomware attacks usually work is the victim will first unknowingly download a malicious file. These files are sometimes bundled with other legitimate-looking ones. Once these files are installed, they will essentially lockdown the victim’s computer. A lockdown can range anywhere from denying account access to holding certain files and folders hostage. It can also threaten mass deletion. Attackers will demand payment in cryptocurrency as ransom to return the system back to normal.
How to prevent a ransomware attack
As mentioned before, it is important to always stay vigilant and aware when downloading files or opening email attachments. Always download from reputable websites and never accept file transfers or open attachments from people you don’t know.
With most of the world on lockdown due to COVID-19, there has been a slight decline in attacks according to Cointelegraph. However, this isn’t the first ransomware attack that is related to COVID-19. Hackers will take advantage of any opportunity and anyone to get what they want.
Unfortunately, it seems that they targeted a hospital as their next victim. In a criminal’s mind, hospitals cannot afford to not have access to their systems. This would most likely put them in a situation where they have no choice but to give in to the demands of their attacker.
Fortunately for the staff and patients, Parkview has training and regularly prepares for these types of scenarios. In a statement to Fox news, they had this to say:
“As a regular course of business, Parkview Medical Center frequently trains and prepares for scenarios that result in IT system outages. We are well-prepared and our staff is trained to continue operations while we work to get our regular IT systems back online.”
“Patient care is always our first priority. Patients will not see any impact to the level or quality of care being delivered.”
Let’s just hope that they can quickly and safely restore their systems.