Microsoft Renders Help to Hospitals to Fight Ransomware Attacks During the COVID-19 Outbreak

Microsoft renders help to hospitals to fight ransomware attacks during the COVID-19 outbreak

Coronavirus is having a severe impact on the healthcare system. Besides facing challenges of various kinds, the hospitals are now dealing with the threats of ransomware attacks.

These attacks are extremely dangerous and can cause severe damage to the entire database system.

Hence to encounter this problem the tech-giant Microsoft has stepped forward. Microsoft is continually notifying the hospitals that are sensitive to the ransomware attacks. This can also render huge help to the medical institutions in the intimidating time of the COVID-19 outbreak.

In addition to this, the company also published documents for various hospitals and requested them to take measures to prevent the ransomware attacks on April 1. According to Microsoft if the hospitals and other medical institutions won’t take the necessary steps to fight the ransomware, then there is a possibility of extreme data leakage.

According to Microsoft’s network of threat intelligence analysts team, the organization has identified several hospitals that are vulnerable to this attack. This is because these hospitals are utilizing public-facing gateway applications and virtual private networks for their systems.

The further team adds “it’s a very crucial moment because at the time of pandemic the organizations have shifted from office workspace to remote ones. It has further increased the chances of ransomware attacks. During the period of the epidemic, the ransomware operators are searching for a practical and easy target.”

Currently, virtual private networks (VPN) and gateways are very easy to target. Therefore as per the reports, the healthcare systems are extremely sensitive towards these attacks.

The document also states that the offender named REvil can be targeted at the hospitals as well as the medical institutions at this crucial time of the outbreak. These ransomware attacks can also cause severe damage to the data of patients and other valuable resources.

Hospitals are guided to establish engagement with Operational Security team

To combat it, Microsoft has started to distribute the targeted notifications to the hospitals that are comprised of useful and important information about vulnerabilities. Besides, it also contains information about how can the attackers take advantage of them and what to do to protect their systems against these attacks.

These kinds of notifications are extremely important as it is estimated that they can help in fighting these attacks. In addition to this, it is also advised that the hospitals should ensure regular updates for firewall and VPN configurations. These steps have ensured the security of the remote access of the infrastructure and also rendered strength to the protocols.

Microsoft has also suggested them to organize deep engagement sessions with the professionals that work for the operational security. So that regular audits can be planned.

Apart from all these, Microsoft has also decided to participate in the “Tech Against Corona” initiative. The objective behind this initiative is to render free technology to the Dutch government so that they can fight against this pandemic.

DoppelPaymer and Maze refuses to attack hospitals

There are some of the darknet marketplaces and ransomware operators are completely insensitive towards the Corona outbreak. There are several operators related to DoppelPaymer and Maze, that have openly claimed to not launch the ransomware attack on any hospital during this time.

In recent times the Monopoly has also announced to completely ban all the vendors that are utilizing the COVID-19 as a marketing gimmick or tool.

This means that they cannot sell face masks, toilet paper and any sort of coronavirus treatment.

Another organization that deals with dark web analytics, Digital Shadows also stated that the darknet community is showing a particular behaviour in the coming weeks.

Author: Michael Jansen
When it comes to cyber-security & privacy protection, no one is better than our chief editor Michael Jansen. Michael started tinkering with computer networks in the early ’90s with led him to study computer science and network engineering at the university. He was always a privacy protection advocate and decided to start this project with his like-minded friends.