Russian-backed hackers actively concentrating on US well being care sector, HHS warns

The Division of Well being and Human Companies (HHS) warned on Monday that pro-Russian hacktivist group Killnet is actively concentrating on the U.S. healthcare business with distributed denial of service (DDoS) assaults.

HHS mentioned in a discover that the group has been going after international locations supporting Ukraine, together with NATO members. 

“Though KillNet’s ties to official Russian authorities organizations such because the Russian Federal Safety Service (FSB) or the Russian Overseas Intelligence Service (SVR) are unconfirmed, the group needs to be thought-about a risk to authorities and important infrastructure organizations together with healthcare,” HHS mentioned. 

The division added that though the DDoS assaults don’t trigger main injury, “they will trigger service outages lasting a number of hours or days.”

DDoS assaults, that are thought-about low-level forms of cyberattacks, are usually used to disrupt and overwhelm a server with web visitors, inflicting it to close down.

HHS cited a number of situations the place Killnet focused organizations within the well being care sector, together with one final 12 months the place the division mentioned the group hacked a U.S.-based healthcare group that helps U.S. army members and stole a big set of consumer information from the corporate.

The well being care sector has been significantly weak to a rise in ransomware assaults in recent times, because it shops delicate info, together with affected person information and medical analysis and expertise.

In response to the rising cyber threats concentrating on the healthcare sector, lawmakers have launched laws and suggestions to guard the business and mitigate the affect.

Killnet additionally reportedly focused the aviation business final 12 months. The group claimed duty for launching a sequence of cyberattacks geared toward greater than a dozen web sites of main U.S. airports, together with the Atlanta and Los Angeles worldwide airports.

Killnet moreover claimed duty for knocking a number of U.S. state authorities web sites offline, together with in Colorado, Mississippi and Kentucky, a month earlier than the 2022 midterm election.