HHS alerts health sector to pro-Russian hacktivist threat; hacktivist group allegedly released attack list for denial-of-service attacks against hospitals, medical organizations in several countries that support Ukraine

Sample article from our Health Care Sector

January 31, 2023 (press release) –

A pro-Russian hacktivist group known for distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks against countries supporting Ukraine on Jan. 28 allegedly released attack lists for hospitals and medical organizations in several countries, the Department of Health and Human Services alerted the sector today. DDoS attacks usually do not cause major damage, but can cause website service outages lasting several hours or even days. 

“Given the group’s tendency to exaggerate, it’s possible some of these announced operations and developments may only be to garner attention, both publicly and across the cybercrime underground,” the advisory notes.

John Riggi, AHA’s national advisor for cybersecurity and risk, said, “The AHA is aware of the threat and has been in contact with the FBI, HHS-HC3 and the Health-ISAC since the threat was announced. We have worked with partners to gauge the credibility and potential impact of the threat and to ensure the publicly named health care entities have been warned. As of today, we understand that some of the named entities were in fact targeted by DDoS attacks, but fortunately the impact appears to have been minimal and temporary with no impact to care delivery services. We would encourage all health care providers, especially smaller hospitals, to verify that their website hosting and service providers have adequate DDoS protections in place.”  

For more information on this or other cyber and risk issues, contact Riggi at jriggi@aha.org. For the latest cyber and risk resources and threat intelligence, visit aha.org/cybersecurity.      

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