Nothing justifies hacking as it is just a power play to blackmail or subdue any person or entity to do the hacker’s bidding. Even though professional hacking has been a constant thorn for banks, security agencies and cyber crimes division, it is particularly infuriating to see people trying to hold a hospital to a ransom, whose sole purpose of existence is to aid in people’s health. This is exactly what happened at the Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center where the network and the computer themselves have been the victims of malware attacks rendering them all useless. The hackers who got into the poorly secured network have demanded 3.6 million $ from the hospital as ransom money to unlock all the data that has been locked away for now.
The hospital has so far confirmed that the attack happened, but about the ransom, the hospital admin is tight-lipped as it probably doesn’t want to draw too much attention to itself. A voice mail that popped up from seemingly nowhere also claims that none of the patients’ data is being used for negative gains and the hospital would do good by meeting the demands of the hackers about the money. How reassuring! Facepalm!
Investigations of the attack are being carried out by the FBI and as usual they have nothing on it. They have stated that the target was random and there is no evidence of the hospital being a particularly important target for the individuals behind this cyber attack. More analysis and forensic experiments are being conducted by the department to come to a conclusion. Will they arrive at a concrete explanation any time soon? Hard to guess! For now, the computers are all useless, but the day-to-day operations of the health facility have not been compromised. Many of the tasks are being carried out the good-old fashioned handwritten way which is very frustrating for the staff as well as the patients themselves.
These kinds of ransom software attacks are very difficult to protect ourselves against and as a result, they are becoming increasingly common. It tries to get the money from the user discreetly and often blackmails him with threats like the files will be deleted if he doesn’t comply. Many people are forced to comply to this extortion. The most common type of ransomsoftware is Cryptolocker and it has infected thousands of machines all around the world. It must be cheap because the British county of Lincolnshire was also hit by this malware and demanded a £350 demand and it refused to pay. Good going Brits!