Ransomware has been an Internet scourge for more than a decade, but only recently has it made mainstream media headlines. That’s primarily due to a new trend in ransomware attacks: the targeting of hospitals and other healthcare facilities.
The malware works by locking your computer to prevent you from accessing data until you pay a ransom, usually demanded in Bitcoin. Hospitals are the perfect mark for this kind of extortion because they provide critical care and rely on up-to-date information from patient records. Without quick access to drug histories, surgery directives and other information, patient care can get delayed or halted, which makes hospitals more likely to pay a ransom rather than risk delays that could result in death and lawsuits.