AHA urges US to take 'fight on terrorism' approach to ransomware

The American Hospital Association urged the U.S. government to take the same approach it took when fighting against global terrorism, instead of leaving hospitals to fend for themselves.

In a May 21 news release, the AHA and the FBI warned of consistent disruptive attempts to launch ransomware attacks on hospitals, which could affect the delivery of patient care.

Five details:

  1. The FBI issued a warning regarding Conti ransomware, which has been identified in at least 16 ransomware attacks on healthcare providers and first responders.

  2. The AHA said it is concerned that cyberattacks have the potential to disrupt patient care and safety. The AHA affirms the stance it took in December in testimony before the Senate Homeland Security Committee, that ransomware attacks on a hospital cross the line from an "economic crime to a threat-to-life crime."

  3. The AHA commended the government's efforts to share timely and actionable cyberthreat intelligence. Yet, leaving individual hospitals to fend for themselves isn't a solution to a nationwide threat, the release said. Most of the attacks originate from overseas actors who are safe from U.S. law enforcement's reach and often have active assistance from adversarial nations.

  4. The AHA urged the U.S. to use the same methods launched during the global fight against terrorism. The U.S. should launch a campaign that uses all diplomatic, financial, law enforcement, intelligence and military cyber capabilities to disrupt these cybergangs and seize their illegal earnings, the AHA said.

  5. Hospital leaders are encouraged to share federal ransomware bulletins, as well as AHA and partner resources, to educate hospital members on the best practices for preventing and responding to ransomware.

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