Locky Ransomware Targetting Global Healthcare Sector

Locky Ransomware Targetting Global Healthcare Sector

Researchers from network security company FireEye have discovered Locky ransomware targetting the worldwide healthcare sector.

A researcher from the Singapore-based firm, Ronghwa Chong, posted on the company’s blog that the findings revealed a number of emails designed to target healthcare organisations in its Locky ransomware campaign.

The Locky campaign was discovered when the ransomware was being widely distributed at the start of August with DOCM (Word Open XML Macro – Enabled Document) attachments in emails. Further studies revealed that there were similarities existing in macro code among several Locky spikes.

For example, each email campaign includes unique code that downloads Locky from a designated malicious server. The code is integrated into a malicious web address using the exact same encoding function, albeit different keys for each ransomware campaign.

The campaign targetted countries from all over the globe, although its primary targets were South Korea, Japan, and the US.

Chong said:

“These detection spikes and change in tactics suggest that the cybercriminals are investing more to infect systems and maximise their profits. Additionally, we have observed that the delivery of Dridex via this distribution channel seems to have stopped, or nearly so, which could explain why we are seeing the Locky uptick.”

While it is certainly unfortunate for the healthcare sector to be the target of such a malicious campaign, any of a number of sectors could be next. Organisations in a variety of industries, from telecommunications to motions pictures, have been targetted in recent years. One can only hope that the healthcare sector, and organisations in general, are creating cyber security jobs in order to defend themselves against ransomware and other threats.

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