Hospitals increasingly targeted by ransomware, Interpol says

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More hospitals and health systems are being targeted in ransomware attacks during the coronavirus pandemic, according to Interpol.

The international crime-fighting organization, based in France,  has received complaints about ransomware attacks on hospitals since mid-March, The Wall Street Journal reports, and has alerted  member countries.

If a hospital's network is compromised, it  may be unable to deliver critical services, including testing patients for COVID-19. Risks for successful cyberattacks are higher than usual, experts told the Journal. This is because cybersecurity staff may be distracted by other suspicious activity and strained by working remotely.

Hospitals are not the only healthcare organizations being targeted with variants of ransomware. Medical testing laboratories, companies delivering critical supplies and medical device manufactures have also reported a spike in ransomware attacks since the COVID-19 outbreak.

To assist healthcare organizations, Interpol will remotely meet with cybersecurity authorities around the world to gather more information about COVID-19-related cyberattacks.

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