Feds warn of cybercriminals hitting hospitals during pandemic

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U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the FBI have issued warnings about cyberattackers targeting hospitals and health systems during the pandemic.

An April 17 statement from Mr. Pompeo's came in response to a cyberattack against a hospital in the Czech Republic that crippled its ability to care for COVID-19 patients. He called upon the hackers responsible to stop cyberattacks against healthcare organizations worldwide, and encouraged all states "not to turn a blind eye" to cybercriminals targeting hospitals.

"The United States has zero tolerance for malicious cyber activity designed to undermine U.S. and international partners' efforts to protect, assist and inform the public during this global pandemic. Such activity against critical civilian infrastructure is deeply irresponsible and dangerous," the secretary's statement said.

The U.S. supports a "framework of responsible state behavior in cyberspace" and it would hold anyone not following that framework accountable, he said.

The FBI issued a warning to all companies focused on COVID-19 treatment research that foreign government hackers may target them, and the international police organization Interpol said hospitals are being targeted in ransomware attacks during the pandemic.

The FBI also said cybercrimes reported to the Internet Crime Complaint Center have spiked since the pandemic began and that it is receiving 3,000 to 4,000 cybersecurity complaints daily, according to The Hill.


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