The news was first reported by ComputerWeekly, where it reports that Hammersmith Medicines Research (HMR), which was earlier tested the Ebola vaccine and now helping for the testing vaccine for Coronavirus was attacked by the Maze ransomware group. The ransomware group attacked the computer systems of Hammersmith Medicines Research (HMR) and posted the personal details of thousands of the company’s former patients as the company declined to pay the company their demanded ransom.
The Director and Doctor of HMR, Malcolm Boyce told that they discovered the cyberattack on their system on 14th march, upon which they quickly reacted and halt their all systems which later on safely recovered.
The attack was performed just a day after the Maze crime group made a public promise not to attack medical research organisations during the coronavirus pandemic. On 21st March, hackers publishing historic sensitive medical and personal information about thousands of former patients on the internet just to make pressure for ransom. The files that were published likely to date back 8 to 20 years contain medical questionnaires, copies of passports, driving licenses and national insurance numbers of more than 2,300 of the organisation’s patients.
HMR has not disclosed how the Maze group gained access to its network, but the hacking group frequently relies on exploit kits, which contain software designed to attack known software vulnerabilities to penetrate company defences. Hackers also use phishing emails to deliver malware to employees who may be tricked into downloading malicious software.
Getting Helping Hands from Tech Firms
As the whole world comes together to fight back with Coronavirus, and in this pandemic situation cyberattacks on such an organisation is making the situation really worst. To get this even some tech and computer security companies have offered to assist medical research companies and hospitals fighting ransomware attacks during the Covid-19 outbreak.
Emsisoft teaming up with Covewar- helps businesses remediate ransomware, offer to give free service during the coronavirus crisis, including threat analysis, development of decryption tools, and negotiating with cyber attackers. Furthermore, McAfee would also assist the organisation on the front line base trying to combat Covid-19.