A recent cyberattack has recently caused UHS hospital network, one of the largest healthcare centers network in the US, to shut down its IT computer systems all across the US.

While it’s not yet clear if any patient data was stolen, but the attack did require a complete shut-down of the entire UHS computer network. Reports by UHS employees hint that the ransomware involved was Ryuk, which can be difficult to detect and contain as the initial infection usually happens via spam/phishing and can propagate and infect IoT/IoMT devices.

Shimon Zigdon, CEO and founder of Assac Networks, an Israeli-based provider of mobile security anti-hacking and anti-tapping smartphone solutions, says that “such attacks take place much more frequently than people realize”, and that “such an incident once again proves how important it is to ensure that all the organization’s devices which are connected to the  IT network, including smartphones and tablets, are fully secured with anti-malware and anti-hacking systems.” The reason is that mobile devices constitute the very weakest link in the organization’s cybersecurity line of defense, and therefore they serve as the easiest way through which a hacker can infiltrate an organization’s IT network.

“Especially now, due to Covid-19, hundreds of millions of people are working remotely, conducting business activities using their mobile devices,” said Zigdon. “This is compounding the cybersecurity threat, as so much sensitive data, files, and information are being processed using BYOD devices. With mobile devices being so prone to, for example, phishing attacks, all that a hacker needs to do in order to gain access to the IT network is to send an innocent-looking SMS or an e-mail with a link to one of the organization’s employees. Once any one of those employees clicks thelink, a whole chain of hacking events is set in motion, eventually infecting the entire organization’s IT and iOT network. “

These attacks occur on a daily basis,” summarizes Shimon, ”yet many of them stay unreported for various reasons. CISOs need to consider the risks and the potential damage, and take proactive steps in order to mitigate such threats.”


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