Microsoft has announced that it has sent an alert to hospitals and other healthcare organizations that are vulnerable to hacker attacks. The alert was based on information collected by Microsoft's cyber threats and attacks intelligence network and was, according to the company, the first of its kind.
Although security companies and Microsoft itself publish alerts on a regular basis, it is not common for companies or organizations to receive personalized alerts about specific problems in their network. This is what happened now with hospitals.
The risk to the institutions is due to the recent increase in the number of human-operated rescue virus attacks. With human supervision, digital pests are able to reach a greater number of systems in the internal networks of companies and organizations, including hospitals.
Human operators also know that organizations tend to pay the ransom in urgent situations – and hospitals are under pressure at the moment, with no time to install updates or pay attention to details in network settings.
A gang, called by Microsoft "REvil", also known as "Sodinokibi", has been exploiting flaws in virtual private network (VPN) systems. This technology is used by companies to ensure that people outside their networks can access internal systems and, if not well protected, can make it possible for intruders to enter.
"Now more than ever, hospitals need to be protected from attacks that can prevent access to critical systems, cause unavailability or steal sensitive information," said Microsoft.
According to the company, hackers are recycling old techniques and tactics into new attacks that take advantage of the crisis caused by the new coronavirus pandemic. Despite the absence of technical innovations, however, Microsoft reinforces that criminals are turning to social engineering to create fake messages that take advantage of the demand for information related to Covid-19 and people's fear.
Microsoft has published a series of recommendations that apply to entities of all kinds. They are available in English on Microsoft's own website.
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