Security Week-in-Review: Holding a hospital crypto-ransom


Open door of a working operating room

It’s hard to keep up with the hundreds of security-specific headlines published every week.

So, we’re rounding up the top news that affect you, your business, and the security and technology industry overall. This week we talk about a Verizon breach, illicitly selling passwords, a hospital’s systems held under crypto-ransom, and more. Check back every Friday to learn about the latest in security news.

A Kentucky hospital was attacked and its network held ransom, as reported by Ars Technica. Attackers used crypto-ransomware called Locky to paralyze the hospital’s systems, causing the healthcare institution to “shut down its desktop computers and Web-based systems.” This is the second high-profile hospital hack using ransomware. In February, a hospital in Los Angeles fell victim to a similar attack.

Would you ever sell your work password? Turns out “27% of U.S. office workers at large companies” would do so, according to a CSO report on a new survey from SailPoint Technologies. When looked at globally, 20% would sell their passwords. This effectively means a large number of individuals within an organization are willing to give up their work identity in order to make some extra cash, though some reported trying to trick the criminals by changing their passwords as soon as they sell them.

The U.S. Justice Department unsealed an indictment Thursday, according to the New York Times, revealing that it had charged seven individuals working for Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps for attempting to breach of a dam in Rye, New York, as well as launch cyberattacks against a number of major U.S. banks. The indictment referred to these individuals as ‘experienced computer hackers.”

Attacker(s) successfully breached Verizon Enterprise Solutions, according Brian Krebs, stealing information for 1.5 million consumers. The individual(s) behind the breach attempted to sell the data online in totality for $100,000 as well as piecemeal. They also offered details on Verizon website vulnerabilities for sale. The Verizon Enterprise Solutions business is known for helping large global organizations handle their data breaches.

Oracle released an update to Java on Wednesday, patching a vulnerability that, when exploited, “can impact the availability integrity, and confidentiality of the user’s system.” Exploits can be executed remotely by tricking victims into visiting malicious website. Oracle advises that the vulnerability is of concerning severity, particularly because the technical details regarding it have already been published online. It notes, “Due to the severity of this vulnerability and the public disclosure of technical details, Oracle strongly recommends that customers apply the updates provided by this Security Alert as soon as possible.”