QUEUE-GENERATING life-saving outfit the NHS is being whacked at an increasing level by ransomware attacks.
We suspect that none of the malware perpetrators is waiting for a knee operation or a hip replacement. Or maybe they are. But they are are thorough, consistent and a bit repetitive.
This is according to a report in a newspaper that calls itself i, and via the BBC News website, which threw a Freedom of Information request into NHS waters and hooked a big fish.
The i took its data from information assurance company NCC Group, and it looks like an exclusive.
"We have seen a 400 per cent increase in these attacks. The health service is by no means alone in facing this kind of attack," Ollie Whitehouse, technical director of NCC Group, told the i.
"But NHS trusts are being increasingly targeted and any loss of patient data would be a nightmare. Like everyone else, they need to apply robust controls."
The NCC declined to name the affected NHS trusts, but there are around 30. Some declined to answer the question about ransomware attacks, but the information showed that not a single penny was paid out.
We thought that interesting, as it looks like the trusts are taking the security industry medicine and keeping their wallets in their pockets.
Where the victim is identified, which is rare, they are named only as the ‘Admin'. Just one trust, located in the East of England, admitted to being hacked twice.
Rashmi Knowles, chief EMEA security architect at RSA, said: "Ransomware is an extremely lucrative business for cyber criminals as once they are in they just need to encrypt the data. Whereas actually stealing data and then trying to resell makes it a much longer process.
"Current data shows that ransomware cases are expected to double from 2015 to 2016, and it should come as no surprise that breaches continue to happen as frequently as they do.
"The results show organisations relying on a fragmented foundation of data and technologies. Because it remains siloed, visibility is incomplete, making attacker activity difficult to scope.
"As a result the speed with which they can detect and investigate threats becomes a real challenge."
Ransomware attacks are on the up, according to a recent Check Point report. µ
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