110 Nursing Homes Crippled in Cloud Ransomware Attack Demanding $14 Million

110 Nursing Homes Crippled in Cloud Ransomware Attack Demanding $14 Million

On Nov. 17, 2019, a Ryuk ransomware outbreak plagued a Wisconsin-based IT company, Virtual Care Provider Inc. (VCPI), according to KrebsOnSecurity, founded by journalist and investigative reporter Brian Krebs.

Around 1:30 a.m. on the day of the attack, unknown hackers launched a ransomware strain known as Ryuk inside VCPI’s networks. The attackers encrypted all the data and demanded a staggering $14 million ransom in exchange for the digital key needed to unlock access to their files. This is not an uncommon request by attackers, and it often presents as a no-win situation for the victims of these deplorable crimes.

According to VCPI chief executive and owner Karen Christianson, 80,000 endpoints affected VCPI, and the care facilities are unable to process critical data. This includes patient records, medication orders, email communication, billing information, and payroll.

The IT company says they fear this incident will not only lead to the closure of the company but could also ultimately impact the health and care of patients. Furthermore, as hundreds of families continue to fight through life or death situations, employees are not being properly compensated for their work.

KrebsOnSecurity reports, “‘We have employees asking when we’re going to make payroll,’ Christianson said.
‘But right now all we’re dealing with is getting electronic medical records back up and life-threatening situations handled first.’”

At Network Access, we know how valuable your data is and that the numbers and correspondence you store are so much more than data points in the computer. In the case of the VCPI data encryption, it can also be a matter of life or death.

This scenario begs business owners to ask themselves the following important NetWatchman questions:

  • Whose responsibility is it to protect data that is stored in the cloud by SaaS providers? Is it you, or is it your cloud provider?
  • How would your insurance company respond to this situation? (Find more cyber insurance information on the inside of this newsletter!)

Don’t wait until it’s a matter of life or death. Our NetWatchman services offer solutions from a select few industrial-strength and enterprise-class backup and disaster recovery leaders. We would be happy to assist you in evaluating your organization’s needs.