A healthcare institution in Israel gets hit by a cyberattack, non-urgent procedures cancelled

healthcare institution Israel cyberattack Hillel Yaffe Medical Center

A recent cyberattack has been reported by the Hillel Yaffe Medical Center in Hadera City, Israel, that caused the healthcare institution to cancel its non-urgent elective procedures. The IT systems of the hospital were disabled by the unknown threat actor that forced the staff to recourse to use pen and paper in recording the hospital documentations. 

Due to the incident, the National Cyber Directorate (INCD) in Israel has warned organisations to strengthen their cyber defences. 

 

Healthcare institutions and other organisations must immediately report suspicious activities such as cyberattacks for the INCD to investigate accordingly.

 

Moreover, INCD is now assisting Hillel Yaffe Medical Center with their post-incident investigation and recovery. They also shared a resource about indicators of compromise (IOCs) that can help organisations recognise evidence of system intrusions. 

An advisory was also sent to organisations to reset their user account passwords and update their systems to the latest versions if they still operate on outdated email servers and virtual private networks (VPNs). 

Hillel Yaffe Medical Center released a statement on their website – informing clients and partners that their organisation’s computer systems had been compromised to a cyberattack. The healthcare institution also added that they are currently operating on alternative systems to treat patients. Nonetheless, all medical treatments are still ongoing as normal except for the non-urgent procedures. 

Israel’s Health Ministry has sent letters to hospitals throughout the country that advises them to print out patients’ medical records to safeguard the operational continuity of their case in events of further cyberattacks. 

According to the director of Hillel Yaffe Medical Center, the threat actors have not yet requested any ransom demands against them; however, they are still convinced that the hackers aim to extort financial gains and not prove any geopolitical stands. 

Security researchers say Israel has suffered about 2.5 times as many cyberattacks against the global average in 2021’s first half. Moreover, researchers added that the attacks against Israel were state-sponsored by Iran. Last September, a call centre firm Voicenter was attacked by a ransomware threat group outside of Israel.  

There are also reports about cyberattacks in Israel’s logistics establishments and water management systems that are all state-backed. 

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