Ukraine hospitals target of cyber attack in June

YouTube download / AP video / The cyberattack that ripped through Ukraine on June 27 disrupted operations at several hospitals and pharmacies, knocking out scanners and briefly leaving patients in limbo. Ukrainian officials blame Russia, but Moscow denies any responsibility. (July 19)
 

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Companies are still still hobbled from a fearsome cyberattack that first targeted hospitals last month throughout Ukraine and slowly spread across the globe, according to the AP.

The Heritage Valley Health System couldn’t offer lab and diagnostic imaging services at 14 community and neighborhood offices in western Pennsylvania. DLA Piper, a London-based law firm with offices in 40 countries, said on its website that email systems were down; a receptionist said email hadn’t been restored by the close of business day.

Dave Kennedy, a former Marine cyberwarrior who is now CEO of the security company TrustedSec, said one U.S. company he is helping is rebuilding its entire network of more than 5,000 computers, according to the Associated Press, saying in part, “It hit everything, their backups, servers, their workstations, everything. Everything was just nuked and wiped. Some of these companies are actually using pieces of paper to write down credit card numbers. It’s crazy.”

The cyberattack that began in late June brought even some Fortune 1000 companies to their knees, experts say. Kennedy said a lot more “isn’t being reported by companies who don’t want to say that they are hit.”

Here is how the cyberattack went down, according to the AP: The malware, which security experts are calling NotPetya, was unleashed through Ukraine tax software, called MeDoc. Customers’ networks became infected downloading automatic updates from its maker’s website. Many customers are multinationals with offices in the eastern European nation. The malware spread so quickly, worming its way automatically through interconnected private networks, as to be nearly unstoppable. What saved the world from digital mayhem, experts say, was its limited business-to-business connectivity with Ukrainian enterprises, the intended target.

-- Henry Frederick, Headline Surfer
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Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet news outlet covering the Daytona Beach-Sanford-Orlando metro area via HeadlineSurfer.com since 2008. A longtime cops & courts reporter focused on breaking news & investigative reporting, Frederick is among the Sunshine State's most prolific daily news reporters, having amassed close to a hundred award-winning byline stories narly eveenly split in print and digital platforms. Frederick earned his Master of Arts in New Media Journalism with academic honors from Full Sail University in Winter Park in February 2019. He was a metro reporter with the Daytona Beach News-Journal for nearly a decade and then served as a city editor for the Taunton Daily Gazette in Taunton, Mass, while maintaining a residence in Central Florida. Prior to moving to Florida, Frederick was a metro reporter for the Rockland Journal-News in Wst Nyack, NY, for seven years. Headline Surfer was named the Sunshine State's top internet news site by the Florida Press Club in 2018.