Ransomware gangs are changing targets again. That could make them even more of a threat


Danny Palmer

The coronavirus pandemic has forced most organisations to rethink how they work. And it appears now that even cybercrooks and ransomware gangs are having to adapt their behaviour to adjust to the ongoing virus crisis.

Phishing attacks using coronavirus as a lure have grown rapidly in recent months as malicious hackers look to use it as a means of tricking victims into giving up usernames and passwords, personal information and bank details. And there is some evidence that ransomware groups have increased their attacks aimed at staff newly working from home. Some have even been launching ransomware attacks against hospitals, medical research facilities and other important healthcare operations, at a time when they're needed more than ever. Such is the potential danger of ransomware attacks against healthcare, Interpol issued a warning over the potential damage that could be done by online extortionists, warning earlier this month it had detected a significant increase in the number of attempted ransomware attacks against key organizations working on virus response. "Locking hospitals out of their critical systems will not only delay the swift medical response required during these unprecedented times, it could directly lead to deaths," said Interpol Secretary General Jürgen Stock.

Hospitals aren't a new target for ransomware attacks and there's been a number of cases of healthcare falling victim in the past. Most high profile of these cases was...

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