Israeli Hospital Attacked With Ransomware

Israel’s National Cyber Directorate (INCD) is telling their country’s organisations to up-grade their cyber defenses following a disruptive ransomware attack on a hospital in Israel’s northwest. The hospital said it had received no advance warning of the attack on its computer systems.

Medical services at the hospital were continuing as usual as it switched to alternate systems, it said, aside from some non-urgent treatments. The hospital said it would keep the public informed of developments.

The Hillel Yaffe Medical Center, situated in the city of Hadera, cancelled non-urgent procedures as their IT systems went down on October 13th. The INCD, is now sending out indicators of compromise (IOCs) in order to help hospitals and other organisations to monitor network attacks and intrusions.

Organisations running older email servers and virtual private networks (VPNs) have been advised to reset user passwords and update systems to the latest versions.

The Health Ministry said in a statement that it was working with the hospital to fully restore it to regular operations. “The Hillel Yaffe Medical Center wishes to inform you about a totally unexpected ransomware cyber-attack which has attacked the hospital’s computer systems,” said the hospital on its website... The hospital is currently using alternative systems to treat its patients. Medical treatment is continuing as usual, aside from non-urgent elective procedures.” 

The Health Ministry and the National Cyber Directorate have sent warnings about the matter to other hospitals as a preventative measure.

The Health Ministry has advised hospitals to print out patients’ medical files to ensure operational continuity in case of further attacks. It also reports that hospital director Mickey Dudkiewicz said attackers had not yet requested a specific ransom amount, but that Health Ministry officials believe hackers were likely motivated by financial gain rather than geopolitical goals.

Israel has been attacked two and half times more than the global average in the first half of 2021, according to American-Israeli cyber security firm Check Point. Many attacks against the country are attributed to attackers backed by Iran, including a ransomware attack against a call center service an  attack that hit dozens of other companies in December 2020. 

Gov:Il:        JPost:       Portswigger:        Times of Israel

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