Ransomware Attack on U.K. Health Service Laboratory Disrupts Major London Hospital Services

Ransomware Attack on UK Health ServiceWhat likely started as a quick ransomware “smash and grab” has turned into a headline case resulting in responses from both U.K. and U.S. law enforcement.

Earlier this month, several larger London hospitals suddenly had no access to lab results. It turned out to be the result of a ransomware attack on laboratory partner Synnovis that crippled hospitals and health services that rely on Synnovis.

Ransomware-as-a-Service gang Qilin was reportedly behind the attack that was initially thought to be intended to receive a “quick payoff”. But as the month has progressed, the story unfolds… and it gets worse.

After not receiving a ransom payment, over 400GBs of private healthcare data was published online – making this anything but a simple attempt to collect a ransom.

What’s perplexing here is that Qilin has gone after a number of U.S. healthcare organizations as well – which we know only draws the attention of the government. Now this story becomes about how not one, but two governments are working together to stop Qilin. 

A warning was just issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Sector Cybersecurity Coordination Center (HC3) covering details about Qilin, who they target, and what to do to keep from becoming a victim.

According to the warning, Qilin ransomware (also referred to in the notice as Agenda) initial access is gained “through phishing and spear phishing emails”, making it critical that organizations shore up their user’s cyber readiness through new-school security awareness training to ensure social engineering tactics fall short and initial access attempts die on the vine.

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