WannaCry attack infects Bayer medical devices in US hospitals

Bayer on Wednesday confirmed the worldwide ransomware attack, WannaCry, infected several of its medical devices used in U.S. hospitals, reports Forbes.

Here are five things to know.

1. An anonymous source sent Forbes an image of an infected device from an unspecified U.S. hospital. While the source did not specify which device model was hacked, it appears to be radiology equipment used to improve imaging for MRIs, according to the report. The device is manufactured by Medrad, which Bayer acquired in 2011.

2. A Bayer spokesperson told Forbes it received two reports from U.S. customers saying WannaCry infected their Bayer devices, although the company did not say which products were affected.

"Operations at both sites were restored within 24 hours," the spokesperson told Forbes. "If a hospital's network is compromised, this may affect Bayer's Windows-based devices connected to that network."

3. Beau Woods, deputy director of the Atlantic Council's Cyber Statecraft Initiative, said an infection on this type of equipment is not likely to threaten patient safety, as it would simply stop the scanning machines from working properly, according to the report.

4. Bayer plans to release a Microsoft patch for Windows-based devices "soon," the spokesperson told Forbes. In the meantime, the company recommends hospitals using Bayer radiology equipment work with their IT security teams and contact Bayer's technical assistance center to ensure the devices are safe and working properly, reports Forbes.

5. The infected devices represent the first known occurrence of ransomware directly influencing a medical device's operations, according to the report.

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