Russian ransomware gang posts more Lehigh Valley patient photos to dark web

Russian ransomware gang BlackChat has posted more photos of patients from Allentown, Pa.-based Lehigh Valley Health Network to the dark web, The (Allentown) Morning Call reported March 10.

"We are evaluating exactly what information has been posted as we simultaneously continue to analyze the content involved," a health system spokesperson said in a statement to the news outlet.

BlackCat previously posted three screenshots of cancer patients undergoing treatment — reportedly nude from the waist up — as well as seven documents with patient information March 7 after the health system refused to pay the group following a February ransomware hack.

"We expect this shameful tactic to continue," Lehigh Valley's statement read. "As we've previously said, this despicable act is executed by cybercriminals trying to make money by taking advantage of our patients and colleagues caring for patients and we condemn this reprehensible exploitation."

This time around, BlackCat uploaded a 132-gigabyte file purportedly containing patient data and photos and threatened to release more every week until the ransom is paid, cybersecurity analyst Brett Callow told the news outlet. Still, he said, Lehigh Valley is doing the right thing by not paying.

"Ransomware attacks happen for one reason and one reason only: They're profitable," Mr. Callow told the newspaper. "If no organizations paid, there would be no more ransomware attacks."

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