Security Experts:

Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?



U.S. Hospitals Warned of Imminent Ransomware Attacks From Russia

US hospitals warned of imminent ransomware threat

The U.S. government has warned hospitals and healthcare providers of an “increased and imminent” ransomware threat, which some experts have attributed to cybercriminals from Eastern Europe.

US hospitals warned of imminent ransomware threat

The U.S. government has warned hospitals and healthcare providers of an “increased and imminent” ransomware threat, which some experts have attributed to cybercriminals from Eastern Europe.

The alert was issued on Wednesday by the FBI, the DHS’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The organizations say they’ve received credible information that threat actors are targeting the healthcare sector with the TrickBot malware in attacks that often lead to ransomware infections, data theft and disruption of healthcare services.

The alert focuses on TrickBot, particularly the Anchor evasion detection modules used in attacks aimed at high-profile organizations, and the Ryuk ransomware, which has often been delivered using the TrickBot botnet. Both TrickBot and Ryuk were previously linked to threat actors operating out of Russia.

Charles Carmakal, SVP and CTO of Mandiant, described it as “the most significant cyber security threat we’ve ever seen in the United States.”

“UNC1878, an Eastern European financially motivated threat actor, is deliberately targeting and disrupting U.S. hospitals, forcing them to divert patients to other healthcare providers. Patients may experience prolonged wait time to receive critical care,” Carmakal told SecurityWeek. “Multiple hospitals have already been significantly impacted by Ryuk ransomware and their networks have been taken offline. UNC1878 is one of most brazen, heartless, and disruptive threat actors I’ve observed over my career.”

While some ransomware operators have decided to avoid targeting healthcare organizations during the COVID-19 pandemic, that does not seem to be the case for Ryuk operators, who, according to what intelligence firm Hold Security told blogger Brian Krebs, have been planning on deploying ransomware at over 400 healthcare facilities in the United States.

According to various local media reports, several hospitals in the United States reported being hit by ransomware over the past days. A few weeks ago, hospital chain Universal Health Services reported that computers at all 250 of its US facilities were disrupted due to a cyberattacks that is believed to have involved Ryuk.

The TrickBot botnet was recently targeted for takedown by Microsoft and its partners, and in a separate operation by the U.S. government. While the operations appear to have been successful, at least to some extent, Ryuk attacks have continued.

Related: German Hospital Hacked, Patient Taken to Another City Dies

Related: Large Hospital System Hit by Ransomware Attack

Written By

Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.

Click to comment

Daily Briefing Newsletter

Subscribe to the SecurityWeek Email Briefing to stay informed on the latest threats, trends, and technology, along with insightful columns from industry experts.

Expert Insights

Related Content

Application Security

Cycode, a startup that provides solutions for protecting software source code, emerged from stealth mode on Tuesday with $4.6 million in seed funding.


Zendesk is informing customers about a data breach that started with an SMS phishing campaign targeting the company’s employees.


The release of OpenAI’s ChatGPT in late 2022 has demonstrated the potential of AI for both good and bad.

CISO Strategy

Cybersecurity-related risk is a top concern, so boards need to know they have the proper oversight in place. Even as first-timers, successful CISOs make...


The FBI dismantled the network of the prolific Hive ransomware gang and seized infrastructure in Los Angeles that was used for the operation.

Management & Strategy

Industry professionals comment on the recent disruption of the Hive ransomware operation and its hacking by law enforcement.

Malware & Threats

Microsoft plans to improve the protection of Office users by blocking XLL add-ins from the internet.

Management & Strategy

SecurityWeek examines how a layoff-induced influx of experienced professionals into the job seeker market is affecting or might affect, the skills gap and recruitment...