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Petya, WannaCry Still Affecting Healthcare, HIMSS Report Says

July 6, 2017
by Rajiv Leventhal
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Recent cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities such as Petya and WannaCry continue to affect various industries around the world, including healthcare, according to the June HIMSS Healthcare and Cross-Sector Cybersecurity Report.

The monthly report from HIMSS, authored by Lee Kim, director, privacy and security, HIMSS North America, noted that the Petya/NotPetya/ExPetr wiper has infected many computers around the globe, including in the United States. Initial analysis by researchers indicated that it was ransomware (and that it was Petya malware). However, upon further analysis, researchers have now concluded that it is wiper malware and some have referred to the malware as “NotPetya” part of the “ExPetr” malware family.

The report also noted that a “vaccine” file has been widely publicized for this wiper. Analysts still recommend that one patches the CVE-2017-0144 vulnerability (MS17-010). “It is crucial that all systems (and devices) be patched (especially those that connect to a network and/or the Internet), as the malware has worm-like capabilities and can self-propagate across a network,” it said.

As Healthcare Informatics has reported since news of the attack broke, Heritage Valley Health Systems, based in Beaver, Pennsylvania, and Burlington, Mass.-based vendor Nuance both confirmed early on that they were impacted by the global attack.  It was then reported that researchers believed that Petya, or NotPetya as some call it, was not a ransomware attack after all, and that victims should not pay the ransom as they will not be able to restore or decrypt their files. Finally, as we reported today, it was announced over the holiday weekend that while Heritage Valley Health System’ systems have all been restored, the healthcare business of Nuance is still being affected.

What’s more, the WannaCry ransom worm continues to infect computers and devices around the globe. In the healthcare sector, the main concern is in regard to infected medical devices. However, WannaCry has also affected other types of entities, including reportedly local government entities as well, the report noted.

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