Fresenius having over 290,000 employees in more than 100 countries through different businesses is a kidney failure medical provider, hospital and healthcare facility management and operation, and a pharmaceutical device and drug supplier arm.
Following the ransomware attack the systems were shut down and it is believed that the virus in question is the Snake ransomware. The virus has caused a disruption but did not affect the patient care.
The Snake ransomware also known as Ekans was first discovered last year and was found in attacks against industrial sector.
The ransomware targets Windows systems and encrypts files with a randomly-selected five-character file extension. The attackers then display a ransom note demanding cryptocurrency and also an email address to make the payment.
According to Sophos researchers, the files are encrypted using public keys and a note is shown after being written to the desktop
Matt Kuhn, a spokesperson at Fresenius stated that they have taken necessary measures as a precautionary measure, based on their security protocol to prevent further spread. Some of the functions within the company are currently limited but the patient care continues. He assured that their IT experts are continuing to work on solving the problem as early as possible to ensure that operations run as smoothly as possible. The relevant authorities have been informed about the cyberattack.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the cybercriminals choose ransomware try to get a higher profit by targeting healthcare providers as they believe that the organizations will surely pay under high-pressure factors.