This week in ransomware – Friday, April 7th, 2022

Ransomware:  Hospitals, schools and local businesses are all targets

A recent study from telecommunications company Telus has noted that “the pervasive increase in ransomware seen over the last 24 months has left many organizations struggling to stay ahead of the threat.” The study further notes, “Around the world, ransomware attacks are bringing organizations, and the communities they serve, to a grinding halt. No one is immune. Every entity – from critical national infrastructure providers, local and federal governments, and large enterprises to schools, hospitals and local businesses – are all vulnerable to the pandemic of ransomware.

Sourced from the study, which can be downloaded from (registration required)

Attackers copied 200,000 patient and employee records in attack on health system

More details have been revealed about the number of patients and employees affected by last year’s attack on the Newfoundland and Labrador healthcare systems. In a call with reporters on Wednesday, David Diamond, chief executive officer of the province’s Eastern Health district, revealed that “over 200,000 files were taken from a network drive at Eastern Health’s IT environment.”

Diamond further revealed that the information may include information about both patients and employees. It may include medical diagnosis for patients as well as human resources information for employees.

Provincial health minister John Haggie refused to answer any questions about who was behind the attack, citing expert advice not to comment for “security reasons.” He did, however, note that the province now understands “more than ever the importance of continued vigilance and the need to strengthen our systems to prevent future attacks.”

The cost of the recovery is not yet available, but will be covered in the upcoming provincial budget.

Sourced from an article in ITWorldCanada

Another healthcare agency hit by the Hive

The Hive ransomware group reportedly hit a California non-profit agency that helps people access healthcare in the state.

The agency, Partnership HealthPlan of California, is one of the largest Medi-Cal Managed Care Plan providers in northern California. It serves more than 600,000 people in 14 northern California counties.

The agency reports that, at this time, it is “unable to receive or process Treatment Authorization Requests (TAR).” At least three hospitals are reported to have had to resort to paper charts and all surgical cases and radiology exams were cancelled because of the attack. Some emergency departments were forced to divert patients to other hospitals.

Hive attacked at least 28 healthcare organizations in 2021. At least four US hospitals have been hit with ransomware this year alone.

Marietta Memorial Hospital CEO Scott Cantley noted that “unfortunately, many health care organizations are confronting the impacts of an evolving cyber threat landscape.”

Sourced from articles in IT World Canada and The Record

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Jim Love
Jim Love
I've been in IT and business for over 30 years. I worked my way up, literally from the mail room and I've done every job from mail clerk to CEO. Today I'm CIO and Chief Digital Officer of IT World Canada - Canada's leader in ICT publishing and digital marketing.

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