Most expensive ransomware attack ever??
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Most expensive ransomware attack ever??

In this week's Cyber Weekly:

  1. Most expensive ransomware attack, so far?
  2. Canadian paramedic hit with cyber attack
  3. People are finally starting to talk about this
  4. Large ransomware gang, small city
  5. Facts of the week

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A Possible Billion Dollars in Damages for This Company

Medibank is still being threatened after their ransomware attack earlier this month. The cyber attack affected 10 million customers. The ransomware gang demanded $10 million ransom. When Medibank refused to pay, the attackers released the information of 1500 people. Australian government policy prohibits companies from paying the ransom. Medibank said the incident will cost up to $35 million in damages, but this figure doesn’t include litigation.

“Bloomberg Intelligence analysts have estimated that the hack could ultimately cost Medibank $700 million if customers sue for damages. And this figure could hit $960 million if 10 per cent of affected customers join either of the class-actions and are paid the maximum $20,000 in damages, it said.” (smh)

Thoughts: The recent hack on the private health insurance company Medibank revealed the oh-so-scary fact that cyber security hacks can compromise even the most well-established companies. It leaves you wondering how we can protect our data before laws are updated to meet current threats. On another note, Medibank is currently in two class-action lawsuits.

Ontario Paramedics hit by potential Cyberattack

The software, iMedic, used by thousands of paramedics across Ontario to store and transfer patient data is offline after being hit by a potential cyberattack.

Paramedics use the software to record patient data during calls and then transfer that information to doctors and nurses in hospitals to inform the care of patients brought in by ambulance. In the temporary absence of the program, first responders are taking notes by hand, Ontario’s Ministry of Health says. Paramedics are also still able to store digital patient notes on the tablet devices but with the server offline, those notes cannot easily be transferred to hospitals and storage will eventually run out.

“The cause of the cyber incident is not yet clear, but Andy Prince, a communications official with ESO, said that early evidence suggested no data had been breached and neither malware nor ransomware had been installed."

“This service interruption does not affect the paramedic service ability to respond to 9-1-1 emergency calls,” he told Global News. “There is also no evidence thus far that any confidential information has been compromised or that there is a risk to local IT systems.” (globalnews)

Thoughts: What do you do if one of your trusted service providers has a massive security breach? Continue doing business with them; or, cease all business and cancel subscriptions?

100 Hospitals Attacked before People are starting to wake up

Former FBI agent, John Bennett was recently on Fox News discussing the cyber attacks on the healthcare industry. He discussed how the executive teams of the hospitals have to be part of the solution. There were 3791 ransomware complaints in 2021 which is equivalent to about $49.2 million dollars. And the attacks are just coming from overseas. The attacks are international. The hackers know healthcare facilities are vulnerable. In the stats shown in the segment, the healthcare industry was significantly more targeted than any other industry in the states. (foxnews)

Thoughts: It took 100 cyber attacks in hospitals before people started to notice there was a problem. So much potential danger and potentially life threatening. Infuriating to say the least!

Montreal Burrow Hit with Cyber Attack

A ransomware gang attacked the city of Westmount, Montreal. The attack was confirmed by the city’s mayor, Christina Smith. According to Smith, the attack involved hackers taking 14TB of data and threatening to release it unless a ransom was paid. The notorious LockBit gang has claimed credit.

"LockBit’s claim shouldn’t be assumed to be accurate, cautioned Brett Callow, a British-Columbia-based threat analyst for Emsisoft – at least, not in relation to 14TB having been exfiltrated. “They’ve exaggerated in the past, and could be doing so again,” he said in an email. (itworldcanada)

Thoughts: LockBit is an international ransomware gang. They just attacked a city 20-minutes away from me. If you think it can't happen to you, you're wrong.

Facts of the week

  • Threat actors are using Google Ads to distribute malware (securityaffairs)
  • In just over a year, Hive Ransomware Group extorted $100m from 1300 global victims (theregister)

In case you didn't know...

I started Assurance IT with my childhood friend Ernesto Pellegrino in 2011. Our mission is to help 100,000 companies become cyber resilient through our services and free content. We focus on helping mid-sized organizations with data protection and data privacy. Our primary services include: endpoint management, cloud backup, DRaaS, Office 365 backup, and Quebec's Law 25 training.

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