International Ransomware Campaign Impacting Healthcare and Public Health Sector (UPDATED)

The U.S. government is aware of an international ransomware campaign that may be affecting Healthcare and Public Health Sector assets in addition to other Sectors. The Critical Infrastructure Program within the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) has provided the following information and resources. Please feel free to share this information with your health department’s information security officials and partners in the healthcare sector.

To receive updates and information from ASPR on healthcare and public health critical infrastructure, including cyber threats, sign up for the mailing list here: https://www.phe.gov/Preparedness/planning/cip/Pages/mailinglist.aspx

If you are the victim of a ransomware attack

If your organization is the victim of a ransomware attack, HHS recommends the following steps:

  1. Please contact your FBI Field Office Cyber Task Force (www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field/field-offices) or US Secret Service Electronic Crimes Task Force (www.secretservice.gov/investigation/#field) immediately to report a ransomware event and request assistance. These professionals work with state and local law enforcement and other federal and international partners to pursue cyber criminals globally and to assist victims of cyber-crime.
  2. Please report cyber incidents to the US-CERT (www.us-cert.gov/ncas) and FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (www.ic3.gov).
  3. If your facility experiences a suspected cyberattack affecting medical devices, you may contact FDA’s 24/7 emergency line at 1-866-300-4374. Reports of impact on multiple devices should be aggregated on a system/facility level.
  4. For further analysis and healthcare-specific indicator sharing, please also share these indicators with HHS’ Healthcare Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center (HCCIC) at HCCIC@hhs.gov

 

Mitigating against this threat

  • *new* Our partners at NH-ISAC have tested a “vaccine” that has been reported as potentially helpful for systems that have not been impacted.  The “vaccine” may also help spread of infection.  Use of this “vaccine” should not preclude proper patching as it only  prevents harm from one specific strain of malware.  When using this vaccine, consider any potential business impact.  The “vaccine” is the creation of a file C:\Windows\perfc and setting the permissions to READ ONLY. As with any patch/update, this modification should be evaluated before implementation by appropriate system security personnel. For further information on this “vaccine” please visit https://nhisac.org/nhisac-alerts/petya-ransomware-updates/
  • Educate users on common Phishing tactics to entice users to open malicious attachments or to click links to malicious sites.
  • Patch vulnerable systems with the latest Microsoft security patches: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/security/bulletins.aspx
  • Verify perimeter tools are blocking Tor .Onion sites
  • Use a reputable anti-virus (AV) product whose definitions are up-to-date to scan all devices in your environment in order to determine if any of them have malware on them that has not yet been identified. Many AV products will automatically clean up infections or potential infections when they are identified.
  • Monitor US-CERT for the latest updates from the U.S. government.  See below for current reporting.
  • Utilize HPH Sector ISAC and ISAO resources.  See below for further information.

US-CERT Resources

Multiple Petya Ransomware Infections Reported

06/27/2017 12:56 PM EDT

Original release date: June 27, 2017

US-CERT has received multiple reports of Petya ransomware infections occurring in networks in many countries around the world. Ransomware is a type of malicious software that infects a computer and restricts users’ access to the infected machine until a ransom is paid to unlock it. Individuals and organizations are discouraged from paying the ransom, as this does not guarantee that access will be restored. Using unpatched and unsupported software may increase the risk of proliferation of cybersecurity threats, such as ransomware.

Petya ransomware encrypts the master boot records of infected Windows computers, making affected machines unusable. Open-source reports indicate that the ransomware exploits vulnerabilities in Server Message Block (SMB). US-CERT encourages users and administrators to review the US-CERT article on the Microsoft SMBv1 Vulnerability and the Microsoft Security Bulletin MS17-010. For general advice on how to best protect against ransomware infections, review US-CERT Alert TA16-091A. Please report any ransomware incidents to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).

 

Additional resources

National Health Information-Sharing and Analysis Center has shared the following TLP-White Message and will continue to share information at nhisac.org.

HITRUST has shared the following Threat Bulletin for distribution.

*new* HIMSS: http://www.himss.org/news/notpetya-another-global-malware-epidemic-hitsecurity

About Katie Dwyer

Katie Schemm Dwyer is a Director in NACCHO's Preparedness Division. Her work focuses on supporting local health departments strengthen public health preparedness systems through governance, coordination and liaison with federal preparedness organizations, policy, and program management.

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