Romanian cyber-attack experts have announced they had identified a significant rise in the ransomware cyber-attacks in Romania, with the latest ones against the computer systems across hospitals.
The Health Ministry has confirmed the attacks, sending a warning to all medical units in the country to take all necessary measures to protect their systems from hackers.
Health minister Sorina Pintea said the ministry had indeed received a note from the Romanian National Computer Security Incident Response Team that identified a significant rise in the cyber-attacks lately.
“They sent us some recommendations that we passed on the public health directorates and to all hospitals in Romania. The Computer Security Incident Response Team advised on certain steps to be taken: to open files only if the sender is known, to avoid accessing irresistible online offers, to have a back up for all files, to update all used devices and to install security solutions, but also to immediately report these incidents,” the Health minister said.
The minister further said there have been cyber attacks on five hospitals in Bucharest so far, one of them being “Victor Babes” Hospital for Infectious Diseases.
“The last case was the hospital in Husi (editor note: a small town in Vaslui county, eastern Romania), which lost all its data regarding the patients”, Pintea said, while revealing isolated incidents had also existed in the past. “A past case is also the one of Cluj Hospital, which also lost all information on hospitalized patients“.
Pintea stated that patients are first affected by these attacks. “First of all, the medical records in every hospital are released from a computer system, which, if it is blocked, is hindering the hospital admissions, discharges and medicine prescriptions. Losing data would be an unimaginable major issue“, she added.
Ministry to file criminal complaint to DIICOT, EUR 10,000 paid to hackers in the past
Minister Sorina Pintea has also announced the ministry would file a criminal complaint to DIICOT following the cyber-attacks in the Capital hospitals, revealing there have been similar incidents in the past as well, and in one such case the authorities have paid EUR 10,000 to hackers to recover the data.
“In 2017 there was a cyber-attack in the hospital in Sighetu Marmatiei, Maramures, the hackers were identified, were from another country, EUR 10,000 were paid,” Pinted disclosed.
In its turn, the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) has announced that other 4 hospitals in Romania are affected by the cyber-attacks in Bucharest, Huşi, Dorohoi and Cărbuneşti, and a response team will go to the medical unit in Bucharest to undergo further checks. SRI says that, in order to stop the attack, any acknowledged anti-virus program would be needed, as the infection is based on tricking the user.
“From the signals sent to the National Cyberint Centre, four hospitals are affected nu the BadRabbit ransomware virus: „Victor Babeş” – Bucharest, Huşi, Dorohoi and Cărbuneşti”, SRI says.
Romania was target of several large-scale cyber attacks last year coming from the Eastern space, the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) informed in March this year.
Cyber attack against Constitutional Court, too
The president of the Romanian Constitutional Court, Valer Dorneanu, has revealed today that last the CCR website had also been hacked last Friday, and it would be reconstructed. Dorneanu also announced he would file a criminal complaint on this matter to the competent authorities.
“The CCR website has been hacked on Friday, we have closed our website since then. The effects were only some viruses, or releasing fake news, for our data base is public otherwise. We’ll have to reconstruct the website and this is not simple,” the CCR head said.