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Bitcoin (BTC) Criminals Exploit COVID-19 Crisis by Attacking Hospitals with Ransomware: Interpol

u.today 06 April 2020 15:30, UTC
Reading time: ~2 m

Interpol has released a warning about hackers trying to cash in on the coronavirus pandemic by infecting hospitals with ransomware. 

After getting their hands on vulnerable machines, malicious actors usually demand payments in Bitcoin. 

Your Bitcoin or your life

Victims usually get on the hook by opening a fake e-mail from government agencies and clicking the link that infects the whole system and encrypts files.  

Some hospitals were targeted by hackers long before COVID-19. For instance, a Hollywood-based medical center had to pay 40 BTC ($17,000 in February 2016) to get back access to its computer system. They had to keep all records in all old-fashioned way -- with the help of pens and paper.   

However, the fact that such attacks occur during the ongoing healthcare nightmare puts a lot of lives at risk. 

“Locking hospitals out of their critical systems will not only delay the swift medical response required during these unprecedented times, it could directly lead to deaths,” says Interpol's secreatry general Jürgen Stock. 

Other coronavirus shams 

Apart from ransomware, criminals have plenty of other tricks at their disposal to profit off the deadly virus.

As reported by U.Today, cybersecurity firm Sophos recently exposed bad actors who were trying to pass off as the World Health Organization (WHO) in an attempt to collect BTC. 

There are also those who offer a nonexistent list of infected people in your area in exchange for a Bitcoin payment.  

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