Lockbit 3.0 Ransomware Disrupts Emergency Care at Multiple German Hospitals

Hospitals Continue to be RansomwareHitting three hospitals within a Germany-based hospital network, the extent of the damage in this confirmed ransomware attack remains undetermined but has stopped parts of operations.

It appears that affiliates of ransomware gangs have forgotten the golden rule – you don’t hit hospitals.  It’s one thing to disrupt operations at a regular brick and mortar business. But hitting a business where someone’s life could be literally placed in jeopardy because a system is unavailable?  That’s downright sub-human.

And this is exactly what happened on Christmas eve, no less, to three hospitals within the German-based hospital network, Katholische Hospitalvereinigung Ostwestfalen (KHO). According to a Google translation of their announcement of the attack, the attack happened in the early morning, causing all systems to be shut down as a precaution. 

While the extent of the damage is unclear, some impact can be inferred from their notes on which services are available.  According to the announcement, “Patient care is still guaranteed and the clinic continues to operate with slight technical restrictions, but we have withdrawn from emergency care for safety reasons.”

Since Lockbit 3.0 is offered as a service, it’s up to the affiliates to use their initial attack vector of choice. With many affiliates simply taking advantage of dark and clear web malicious services such as OLVX, access via compromised credentials remains one of the leading means of initial access…. Which puts the onus on organizations to educate their users (via new-school security awareness training) on how to see malicious phishing emails and web-based social engineering for what it really is – the starting point for a cyber attack.

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