I was recently invited to present two talks on ransomware at EMR-related seminars attended by physicians, clinical staff and service providers, held last week in British Columbia.
Interestingly, the last seminar took place just as news was emerging that morning of Petya, described as a new, massive ransomware attack, was spreading across the Ukraine, Europe, and the US. We are now learning that, because it encrypts entire hard disks but does not appear to have the capability to decrypt them, Petya may not have been ransomware at all. Instead, some analysts believe it may have been designed to be a weapon to cripple systems, possibly targeting infrastructure in the Ukraine. This gives little comfort to organizations around the world that have been hit with it, including shipping companies, a multinational law firm, and the giant pharmaceutical firm, Merck.
What was immediately apparent during the morning of the attack, however, is that it won’t be the last. The need to protect information systems in health care clinics is more important than ever.
My presentation summarizes some of the information that is described in more detail here:
Update 20170630: More information is emerging concerning the Petya attack. For further information, here is the latest update from US National Health Information Sharing and Analysis Center (NH-ISAC)