A GLOBAL policing organisation has warned that hospitals have become targets for ransom attacks on their computer systems.

Interpol says that its Cybercrime Threat Response team has detected a significant increase in the number of attempted ransomware attacks against key organisations and infrastructure engaged in the coronavirus response.

Cybercriminals are attempting to use ransomware to hold hospitals and medical services digitally hostage; preventing them from accessing vital files and systems until a ransom is paid.

Coronavirus Crimes
WARNING: Criminals attempting to ransom hospital computer systems.

Now Interpol has issued a Purple Notice alerting police in all its 194 member countries – including Spain – to the heightened ransomware threat.

“As hospitals and medical organisations around the world are working non-stop to preserve the well-being of individuals stricken with the coronavirus, they have become targets for ruthless cybercriminals who are looking to make a profit at the expense of sick patients,” said Interpol Secretary General Jürgen Stock.

“Locking hospitals out of their critical systems will not only delay the swift medical response required during these unprecedented times, it could directly lead to deaths.”

Interpol is also providing first-hand technical support to member countries, as well as mitigation and protection advice to help safeguard their critical medical infrastructure.

Additionally, Interpol is collecting a list of suspicious Internet domains related to COVID-19 and undertaking further analysis and evaluation, and will work with the relevant countries to take action.

There has been an explosion in cybercrime since the pandemic exploded.

Spain’s Policia Nacional has recently revealed it has shut down a staggering 45,773 web domains used for criminal activities related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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