COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
The FBI said Russian hackers are targeting US hospitals using malware that locks computer systems and denies hospitals access to its data.
The FBI has warned it is possible for the hackers to take hospitals offline and hold a hospital's data for ransom.
It has not yet been reported if any Missouri hospitals have been affected.
Boone Hospital Center spokesman Ben Cornelius provided a statement sent out to BJC Hospitals.
"Late yesterday afternoon, BJC learned of a credible cybersecurity threat to US health care providers. Several hospitals across the country have been impacted in the last few days with intelligence officials suggesting several hundred more may be targeted. BJC has a dedicated Information Security team continuously monitoring the environment to protect our patients, employees and community. We have a variety of detective and preventative measures already in place to help mitigate the risk of cybersecurity threats We take any threat seriously and have heightened our surveillance, prevention and communication strategies as a response."
Hospitals were instructed to work closely with IT specialists to prevent potential cyberattacks.
MU Health Care also responded with a statement detailing they have not been affected by this threat, but they are taking precautions and have alerted their staff of the potential cyber-attacks.
MU Health Care has received warnings about a targeted effort by foreign, nation-state attackers to spread ransomware with the intent on interrupting health care services and extorting providers for ransom payments. The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have alerted U.S. hospitals and health systems to credible information of an increased and imminent cybercrime threat. At this time, there has been no observable direct threat to MU Health Care’s information systems.
MU Health Care continues to monitor this situation closely. We’ve also alerted our employees of the increase in cyber attacks on health systems and have reinforced education about how to identify and report suspicious emails to help employees protect themselves and our organization from these threats."MU Health Care spokesperson, Jesslyn Chew