Russian-affiliated hackers planned to attack 400 US hospitals in 2020

A chatroom run by a group of Russian-affiliated hackers detailed plans in 2020 to attack and disable 400 U.S. hospitals, The Wall Street Journal reported March 29.

During the height of the pandemic, hackers hatched a plan via the chatroom to hold hospital computer systems hostage. The plan was countered by U.S. authorities and the Department of Homeland Security. 

Since 2018, the hacking enterprise known as the Trickbot Group has collected millions of dollars by shutting down emergency rooms, city governments and public schools. 

Little was known about the group until more than 200,000 messages, leaked by an anonymous researcher Feb. 27, revealed that the group had ties to Conti ransomware attacks, which was used in 16 targeted attacks on U.S. emergency responders last year, as well as a strain of ransomware developed by the group called Ryuk, according to the report. 

U.S. law-enforcement officials haven't publicly verified the materials from the chatroom, but cybersecurity researchers and former security officials say they appear to be authentic.


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