INTERPOL warns Healthcare industry over increasing Ransomware threats related to COVID19

April 14, 2020
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While our Frontliners in the Healthcare industry are putting their lives in the line by helping the COVID-19 patients recover, they are now the targets of these ferocious Cybercriminals just to generate money.

Aside from the previously reported COVID-19 related cybercrimes like Coronavirus maps, Coronavirus Phishing scam, cybercriminals show no signs of forbearance as they are now targeting the front-line institutions that are fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The INTERPOL has issued Purple Notice (To provide information on modus operandi, procedures, objects, devices, or hiding places used by criminals) to all 194 member countries highlighting the sudden pile-up of the Ransomware attacks during this unpreceded and trying times.

As per the global law enforcement agency, cybercriminals are sending out the Ransomware attack to hospitals and other medical organizations that disguises as an official Government Agencies advisory. These “advisories” are the usual spear-phishing emails that claim to contain information about the Coronavirus pandemic. They persuade unsuspecting recipients to open a malicious attachment that will eventually install the ransomware payload that will hold the system’s files captive until a certain amount of ransom is paid.

Hospitals who will fall victim to these traps will experience delays in their medical response, which is an absolute necessity in these trying times. Despite these attacks, the INTERPOL assured their member countries that they will deliver assistance to make sure that our vital healthcare systems remain in good shape and untouched and that these criminals will be held accountable.

The Cybercrime and Threat Response team of INTERPOL assures that they are monitoring all cyber-threats that are capitalizing the COVID-19 pandemic and working with their private partners for them to support the organizations that could become targets of ransomware in case of any unfortunate events.

As per INTERPOL, prevention and mitigation is the key to prevent these kinds of attacks. Since this specific malware is spreading via email, INTERPOL advises the healthcare industry to be wary with opening emails from unknown sources that include a link or an attachment, especially if it came from unknown sources.

They have also added that to minimize the risk of disruption, hospitals and healthcare companies need to ensure that all their hardware and software are up to date and advised to have strong safety measures like backing up all necessary files and storing them separately from the main systems.


Below are some essential measures to avoid becoming a victim to these unstoppable Cybercriminals:

  • Make sure only to open or download applications from trusted sources.
  • Be wary of emails from unknown sources, mainly if they include a link or attachment/s.
  • Protect your email systems from Spam emails that are most likely to contain fraud links or infected attachments.
  • Always be prepared – make sure to back up important files and store them onto different systems as frequently as possible.
  • “Prevention is better than cure”; make sure that your Antivirus software is updated with the latest virus definitions so you will be alerted of any possible intrusions or infections.
  • It’s important that you use a strong and unique password for all your systems and update them as frequently as possible to avoid getting hacked.



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