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Attacked by ransomware: The hospital network brought to a standstill by cybercriminals
Attacked by ransomware: The hospital network brought to a standstill by cybercriminals | GZERO Media

Attacked by ransomware: The hospital network brought to a standstill by cybercriminals

In October 2022, the second-largest nonprofit healthcare system in the US, CommonSpirit Health, was hit with a crippling ransomware attack. Kelsay Irby works as an ER nurse at a CommonSpirit hospital in Washington. She arrived at work after the malware had spread through the hospital network to chaos: systems were down, computers were running slowly or not at all, labs weren’t returning results, and nurses were charting vitals on pen and paper. Even basic things like knowing what medications patients were on or why they came into the emergency room were a challenge, putting lives at risk. The hospital’s nurses and doctors scrambled to manage this crisis for over two weeks until CommonSpirit Health was able to restore access to the IT network

“It was just kind of this perfect storm of very sick patients, not enough help, everybody was super frustrated,” Irby says, “My biggest fear during the whole cyberattack was that a patient was going to suffer because we couldn’t access the technology.”

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The threat of CEO fraud and one NGO's resilient response
The threat of CEO fraud and one NGO's resilient response | GZERO Media

The threat of CEO fraud and one NGO's resilient response

In January 2020, Heidi Kühn, founder and CEO of Roots of Peace, returned from an overseas trip to devastating news: her finance department had unwittingly transferred over $1 million to an unfamiliar bank account. Kühn and her team quickly realized they’d become victims of a CEO fraud cyber attack—cybercriminals had infiltrated the company’s email accounts via spear phishing and impersonated Kühn to trick the finance team into sending funds abroad.

The theft had an enormous impact on Roots of Peace, a nonprofit dedicated to converting minefields into arable farmland in former war zones. Following the attack, Roots of Peace reached out to the CyberPeace Insitute, an organization that provides free cybersecurity assistance, threat detection and analysis to NGOs and other critical sectors. Roots of Peace was able to recover some of the funds, but to date, only $175,000 of the $1.34 million total stolen has been returned.

Roots of Peace is an international humanitarian organization, but their story isn’t unusual: In 2021, CEO fraud caused $2.4 billion in losses to US businesses alone, according to the FBI Internet Crime Report. Kühn’s story is featured in the second episode of “Caught in the Digital Crosshairs: The Human Impact of Cyberattacks,” a new video series on cyber security produced by GZERO in partnership with Microsoft and the CyberPeace Institute. GZERO spoke with Kühn and Derek Pillar, a cyber security expert from Mastercard, to learn more about the threat of CEO fraud, the real-life impact of cyberattacks against the humanitarian sector, and how you can prevent similar attacks from happening to you and your organization.

Biden likely to push Putin on cybersecurity in Geneva meeting
President Biden and President Putin Likely to Discuss Cybersecurity | Cyber In :60 | GZERO Media

Biden likely to push Putin on cybersecurity in Geneva meeting

Marietje Schaake, International Policy Director at Stanford's Cyber Policy Center, Eurasia Group senior advisor and former MEP, discusses trends in big tech, privacy protection and cyberspace:

When President Biden and President Putin meet, will cybersecurity will be a key issue that they discuss?

Now, I'm sure that there will be many thorny issues on the table. But after American fingers pointed to Russia and hold it responsible for the SolarWinds hack, it's likely. Criminals in Russia were also not hindered when they held the Colonial Pipeline Company ransom through a ransomware attack. And really, when journalists and opposition leaders cannot speak a single critical word without being caught, how come cybercriminals can act with impunity in Russia? So the need for prevention and accountability really is significant. And I hope the President Biden can push and persuade Putin to change the confrontational and aggressive course that he is on.

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