Ryuk Ransomware operators continue to target hospitals during COVID19 outbreak

Pierluigi Paganini March 27, 2020

Operators behind the Ryuk Ransomware continue to target hospitals even as these organizations are involved in the fight against the Coronavirus pandemic.

The threat actors behind the infamous Ryuk Ransomware continue to target hospitals, even as they are involved in containing the Coronavirus outbreak.

The decision of the operators is not aligned with principal ransomware gangs that have announced they will no longer target health and medical organizations during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Last week, experts at BleepingComputer contacted various ransomware operators, and some of them like DoppelPaymer and Maze groups announced that they would no target healthcare organizations during the pandemic.

Ryuk goes against the tide and continues to target the hospitals, the group never responded to the questions of BleepingComputer researchers.

“Since then, BleepingComptuer has learned that Ryuk continues to target hospitals even while they are struggling to keep people alive during the Coronavirus pandemic.” reported BleepingComputer.

PeterM from Sophos confirmed that he is aware of a US health care provider that was hit with the Ryuk ransomware.

“I can confirm that #Ryuk ransomware are still targeting
hospitals despite the global pandemic. I’m looking at a US health care provider at the moment who were targeted overnight. Any HC providers reading this, if you have a TrickBot infection get help dealing with it ASAP.” said PeterM.

“Looks like a typical Ryuk attack at the moment, they deployed the ransomware with PsExec.”

The popular malware researcher Vitali Kremez confirmed that the Ryuk ransomware was employed in attacks against ten healthcare organizations.

According to BleepingComputer, the Ryuk ransomware infected a hospital in one of the countries most impacted by the COVID19 outbreak.

Threat actors could make the COVID19 pandemic worse with malware attacks on health organizations.

A couple of weeks ago, a COVID-19 testing centre was hit by a cyberattack, leading to a disruption in the proper functioning of the hospital. In the context of a global sanitary crisis due to a pandemic, the risk of cyberattack must be given close attention by hospitals and healthcare organisations.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(SecurityAffairs – coronavirus, Ryuk)

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