Security Market Segment LS
Friday, 15 October 2021 07:44

Macquarie Health making 'good progress' in recovery from Windows ransomware attack Featured

Macquarie Health making 'good progress' in recovery from Windows ransomware attack Image by Sammy-Williams from Pixabay

Macquarie Health Corporation, which reported on 7 October that it had been affected by a "cyber incident" — a Windows ransomware attack — says it is making good progress in the recovery and restoration of its IT systems.

In response to a query from iTWire, a spokesman said patient services had been able to continue without interruption.

The ransomware responsible for the attack is known as Hive or Hiveleaks and has been described as a a double-extortion ransomware group — "making their money off of a two-pronged attack: exfiltrating sensitive data before locking up the victims’ systems" — that first made its presence known in June this year.

The MHC spokesman added: "...we sincerely thank all our patients and clinicians for their support. Most importantly, we thank our staff who have been amazing during this extremely difficult period." On Tuesday, MHC had been a lot less positive about progress in cleaning up after the incident.

The gang behind Hive had uploaded a sample of the data they had stolen to the website of a third-party storage vendor, but the files have now been deleted.

iTWire understands that this may be due to a complaint made by the victim to the storage vendor.

Ransomware gangs are known to upload data to third-party services like Sendspace and Mega and then share links to it.

When the victim complains to the third-party service, the data gets deleted and the link ceases to work.

The gangs are aware that this will happen, but since their intention is to put pressure on the victim, not to make the data permanently available, they do not care that it is deleted.

The attackers claim to have pilfered 225GB of data from Macquarie Health Corporation during the attack.

The exfiltrated data is claimed to include medical records, research and personal data of 6717 people, financial documents, bank balances and tax deductions among others.

Macquarie Health, which will mark 50 years in 2023, runs 12 hospitals which provide surgical procedures, rehabilitation and mental health clinics, skin imaging and dermascopy, medical systems; cosmetic procedures, e-health informatics and data solutions.

The companies under its banner are Macquarie Hospital Services, MacRehab, Macquarie Medical Systems, Derma Medical and Machealth eSolutions.

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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