• Mon. Mar 4th, 2024

Hospital Network Exploiters Demand Ransom In Bitcoins

Jan 13, 2023

Hackers have returned and their first victim of 2023 is a network belonging to a hospital-based in Romania. Allegedly, the hospital’s network has been attacked by hackers who have demanded ransom to be paid in Bitcoins.

As crypto-blockchain technology is a safe haven, it has given a lot of confidence to hackers to do whatever they wish to do.

There was a time when the robbers had some standards but blockchain technology has allowed the robbers to lose such standards.

They are not adhering to such standards at all and they are willing to rob any entity that comes into their sight.

Whether it is an Insurance Company, a semi-government department, or a hospital, the hackers are showing no mercy and they are going all out with their attacks.

Hospital Network under Ransomware Attack

A hospital in Romania namely “Saint Gheorghe Recovery Hospital” has become the 2023’s first victim of a hack attack.

Reports coming from Romania confirm that the exploiters have taken over control of the network and seized medical records of the hospital.

It has further been confirmed by the hospital itself that their medical records from December onwards have been locked by hackers.

Reportedly the hackers have been demanding the management of the hospital pay ransom in Bitcoins. Otherwise, the hackers have promised that they would destroy the record and make the record inaccessible permanently.

Bitcoin Ransom Demand

It was reported that the hackers breached into the hospital’s servers and manipulated the data. Reportedly, the exploiters have been demanding payment of three units of Bitcoins which are worth approximately $50,000.

Romania Insider, which is an online news portal of Romania, noted that the exploiters left a message in “English”. In this message, they have raised a demand for payment of 3 Bitcoins for restoring the network’s access back.

Attempts to Restore the Network Failed

After the exploit, top departments of Romania came to the aid of the hospital for making an attempt to restore the network.

The first attempt was made by computer specialists who came from the office of Romania’s Organized Crime & Terrorism Department. However, the specialists in the department failed to restore the connection.

Thereafter, Bitdefender, a cybersecurity firm in Romania, took the turn but they also failed in decrypting the information applied by hackers.

Later, the MD of the hospital made a statement before the media and stated that the hospital was going to resume its normal operations. However, the MD did not make mention of the progress with regard to the restoration of the network.

What the MD did say to the media was that the matter is under investigation by law enforcement agencies.

Worst Case Scenario

Medical records, which have been seized by hackers, are crucial without which the hospital cannot compile reports pertaining to rendered services.

Based on these reports, payment invoices are prepared against services that the hospital offered in the month of December 2022.

On the other hand, the National Health Insurance House of Romania has assured that they are working to come up with a solution.

Insurance House has promised that whether the data is restored or not, it would not delay the salaries due to medical staff.

Tracers of Hackers

The initial probe of the hack attack suggests that the hackers indirectly breached into the network. There is an entity that is authorized to access the records for the purposes of accounts and computing.

According to investigators, the hackers managed to break into the hospital’s servers through the company responsible for computing.

Romania is one of those countries where hospitals have often been the targets of cybercriminals, especially hackers.

In 2009, there were four incidents of the same kind wherein networks belonging to four different hospitals were hacked into.

Similarly, since the pandemic came, various hospitals in the world have suffered similar situations. In most such cases, the attackers were found demanding crypto payment as ransomware.

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