FBI headquarters in Washington, DC
Photo: J. David Ake / AP
The number of people infected with corona in the USA is increasing again, and American hospitals are now also exposed to a wave of cyber attacks.
The US Federal Police FBI warned on Thursday night of ongoing attacks with the Ryuk extortion Trojan.
Such software typically encrypts the content of computers and demands a ransom with the promise of releasing the data after paying the required sums.
Affected hospitals can usually continue to work, but under considerably more difficult conditions: some patients have to be relocated, operations postponed and all documentation has to be done with pen and paper.
IT security experts suspect a Russian group of cyber criminals behind Ryuk.
The exact extent of the current attacks on American hospitals remained unclear.
According to media reports, facilities in the states of New York, Oregon and Minnesota were affected.
The computers at Sky Lakes Medical Center, Oregon, for example, have apparently been shut down, communication is "complicated".
The Recorded Future company believes that six US hospitals were attacked by the Ryuk group on the same day.
Charles Carmakal from Mandiant spoke of "several hospitals" that have already been "significantly affected by Ryuk" and had to shut down their networks.
"Most criminals do not want to target hospitals. There is an ethical line and they do not want to cross it. However, this group has no problem with it."
Allegedly 400 facilities were to be attacked
The founder of the IT security company Hold Security, Alex Holden, said "Cancer On Security", according to online chats, the attackers even wanted to place Ryuk in 400 medical facilities.
The number of new corona infections in the USA reached almost 79,000 again on Wednesday.
Just last week, a record was reached with more than 83,000 infections in one day.
Most states have seen an increase.
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pbe / dpa