A group of hackers with a history of targeting healthcare organizations executed a successful ransomware attack this week on theUniversity of California, San Francisco.
UCSF confirmed it was the target of an “illegal intrusion” but declined to explain which portion of its IT network may have been compromised. Researchers at the university are among those leading American antibody testing and clinical trials for possible coronavirus treatments, including a recent study onanti-malarial drugs touted by President Donald Trump as a possible remedy, thenrefuted by scientists.
The university has alerted security experts and law enforcement of the attack, which didn’t affect its patient care operations, saidPeter Farley, a director of communications at UCSF.
“With their assistance, we are conducting a thorough assessment of the incident, including a determination of what, if any, information may have been compromised,” Farley said in a statement. “In order to preserve the integrity of the investigation, we will need to limit what we can share at this time.”
Read more:Malaria Drug Taken by Trump Provides No Covid-19 Protection
The NetWalker hackers claimed credit for the attack on their darkweb blog. The post dedicated to UCSF appeared to be copy and pasted from the university’s home page promoting its work on healthcare.
Attack groups often post data samples to prove the success of their breach. In this case, their blog posted four screenshots, including of two files accessed by the attackers. The files’ names, seen by Bloomberg on the darkweb, contain possible references to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and departments central to the university’s coronavirus research.
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