Israeli hospital hit by ransomware attack

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An Israeli hospital has been the target of a ransomware attack, officials said, calling it the first such attack on a hospital in the country.

The hospital said it had received no advance warning of the attack on its computer systems, adding “medical treatment is continuing as usual, aside from non-urgent elective procedures,”.

Yigal Unna, director of Israel’s National Cyber Directorate, called it a “major” attack.

“We’re in the middle of trying to solve it, it does not look very good,” he continued.

According to Unna, it was “the first time in Israel” that a cyber-attack had targeted a hospital, although medical centres across the globe have been common targets for attacks such as this one, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.

More than 20% of businesses in Israel have been targeted in a cyber-attack, according to data presented by Unna in July.

A constant barrage of cyberattacks has plagued Israeli institutions and businesses in the last two years, notably Voicentre, an Israeli call centre company, whose customers include “10bis, CMTrading, Mobileye, eToro, Gett and My Heritage”. The leaked data from this attack include webcam and security footage, WhatsApp conversations, ID cards, photos, and recordings of phone calls.

The National Cyber Directorate reported that it handled more than 11,000 inquiries on its 119 hotline in 2020, some 30% more than it handled in 2019. The directorate made about 5,000 requests to entities to handle vulnerabilities exposing them to attacks and was in contact with about 1,400 entities concerning attempted or successful attacks.

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