Saskatchewan’s eHealth agency has been responding to a Ransomware attack since January 6th. At that time, eHealth was notified immediately by their antivirus software, and they have contained the virus. Services like MySaskHealthRecord, were disabled.
It so far seems that eHealth has been rather lucky. There has been no evidence that any confidential patient information has been compromised. eHealth, with the help of consultants from Microsoft and Cisco have been able to isolate the virus and are working on restoring the systems. eHealth also has no plans to negotiate with the hackers, but instead plans to restore from their back-ups.
Contrast this with LifeLabs, who in December paid a ransom to hackers to retrieve the sensitive information that was lost in the ransomware attack. Vancouver’s Georgia Straight quotes Brett Callow, a threat analyst with Emsisoft, saying that it was an “absolute terrible decision” to pay the ransom. "It's akin to paying a blackmailer in the hope that they will return an incriminating photo to you," Callow told the Georgia Straight. "They may return the photo but then they also kept a copy. LifeLabs is working on nothing more than a pinky promise that the data won't be used."
The Healthcare industry has been a prime target for hackers. There seems to have been a surge in healthcare targets in Canada in 2019, and 2020 seems to be off to a roaring start. If you are in the healthcare industry, it would be wise to ensure your networks are well protected. Up-to-date antivirus protection that can detect malware is a must! Even better, ensure your staff are aware of phishing techniques so they don’t unknowingly download ransomware.