Hospitals warned of Cyberattacks-THE HINDU-08-04-2020
In an alert sent to 194 nations, including India, Interpol said organisations at the forefront of the global response to the COVID-19 outbreak had also become targets of ransomware attacks, which were “designed to lock them out of their critical systems in an attempt to extort payments”. “Cybercriminals are using ransomware to hold hospitals and medical services digitally hostage, preventing them from accessing vital files and systems until a ransom is paid,” Interpol said in a note.
“Locking hospitals out of their critical systems n will not only delay the swift medical response required during these unprecedented times, it could directly lead to deaths. Interpol continues to stand by its member countries and provide any assistance necessary to ensure our vital healthcare systems remain untouched and the criminals targeting them held accountable,” he added.
Pattern of crimes:
Separately, Interpol warned that with a majority of people working from home due to the pandemic, there was a change in the pattern of crimes. The lockdown period had not only led to a “significant” increase in domestic violence but made business establishments/factories vulnerable to thefts. A spurt in drug commerce via social media/encrypted apps, fraudulent trade in personal protective equipment and anti-viral medicines, and individuals/businesses on reduced income becoming potential targets of loan sharks were among the threats perceived by the organisation. Since more people were at home, the number of burglaries had dropped.
“Our appeal to institutions and individuals is not to open any mail or link on coronavirus data or home remedies unless it is from a trusted source like a government agency.