US Issues Warning on North Korean Hackers

Takeaways for the Healthcare and Public Health Sector

Overview

On July 6, 2022, the FBI, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the Department of the Treasury jointly issued a Cybersecurity Advisory, which cautioned hospital systems and other organizations operating in the public health sector of an uptick in North Korean state-backed hackers targeting their networks with a strain of ransomware dubbed “Maui.”

The advisory outlines concrete, tactical steps that senior leadership can take to buttress cybersecurity preparedness and defenses, such as implementing security controls and conducting phishing exercises for employees. The document also underscores growing governmental scrutiny of the Maui ransomware variant, which is unlike traditional, pre-developed ransomware tools. Maui is manually operated, for example, which allows the threat actor to select which files to encrypt when deploying the malware.

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