The Advisory issued October 28, 2020 from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (“CISA”), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), and the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) stated:
CISA, FBI, and HHS have credible information of an increased and imminent cybercrime threat to U.S. hospitals and healthcare providers. CISA, FBI, and HHS are sharing this information to provide warning to healthcare providers to ensure that they take timely and reasonable precautions to protect their networks from these threats.
CISA, FBI, and HHS assess malicious cyber actors are targeting the HPH Sector with Trickbot malware, often leading to ransomware attacks, data theft, and the disruption of healthcare services.
These issues will be particularly challenging for organizations within the COVID-19 pandemic; therefore, administrators will need to balance this risk when determining their cyber security investments.
The Stroz Friedberg/Aon’s Cyber Solutions team has been responding to multiple ransomware incidents in the Healthcare industry related to the evolving Ryuk threat.
While Trickbot is one threat to be aware of, one very common entry point for Ryuk and other ransomware threat actors is a carefully crafted phishing campaign designed to create a sense of urgency to the recipient and to bypass email security systems.
Please be sure to monitor and educate your users for these phishing attacks, as they are a critical line of defense. You can expect to see emails referencing a sense of urgency such as “An employee has made a complaint against you” or “Bonus plan” that invites the user to click a link to a cloud storage provider (usually Google Docs). If users follow the link, it will typically initiate a malicious series of events including a Bazar Loader/Bazar Backdoor and Cobalt Strike, a post-exploitation toolkit, lateral movement to domain controllers and privilege escalation, and finally spreading Ryuk ransomware to the entire network.
WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW:
- Read the Advisory, including downloading the IOCs and implementing recommended mitigations. https://us-cert.cisa.gov/ncas/alerts/aa20-302a
- Ensure backups of medical records, including electronic records and have a 321-backup strategy – have hard copy or remote backup or both
- Protect your back-ups of critical systems – ensure that you have offline backups that cannot be impacted by an active threat on the network
- Establish and practice out of band, non-VoIP, communications
- Rehearse IT lockdown protocol and process, including practicing backups
- Contact any potentially relevant third-party vendors and have them on stand-by, including outside breach counsel, public relations and communications firms, external IT resources, and incident response partners
- Place internal IT resources on high alert
- Increase security monitoring of the IT environment with heightened emphasis on potential ingress points such as email, cloud hosted services, and remote access points
- Draft a notice to employees of the threat and reinforce their role in security. Highlight diligence with respect to phishing emails and other social engineering tactics (LinkedIn messaging, phone calls posing as IT, etc.) as this is still one of the most prevalent attack vectors for ransomware and other cyber attacks
- Have a plan in place for responding in the event of compromise. If not already in place as part of an Incident Response Plan, identify relevant stakeholders across the company who should be part of the core decision-making team
- Understand your Cyber insurance coverage and specifically the claim reporting provisions
HIPAA CONCERNS: When threat actors move throughout a healthcare system during a ransomware attack, it is imperative to have an experienced forensic investigation team that can quickly ascertain whether ePHI was accessed, downloaded and/or exfiltrated. Quick forensic response along with advice from cyber security breach legal counsel helps to ensure that all legal notification requirements are met for both state data breach notification laws as well as HIPAA breach notification rules.
HOW AON’S CYBER SOLUTIONS CAN HELP:
- Digital Forensics Incident Response: Our forensic leaders have extensive experience responding to ransomware attacks and can assist in investigating the attack, containment, remediation and recovery
- Threat Hunt: Our experienced cyber security teams conduct a proactive search for attackers within your networks based on identifiers we have collected while working a large number of similar ransomware events to potentially identify in-process attacks before encryption occurs
- Deep Dark Web Scan: Our Investigations team will assess online and externally facing risk exposure of exposed accounts, corporate assets, breached data, compromised credentials and online security vulnerabilities
- Incident Response Planning & Playbooks: Our tailored, comprehensive plans consider your organization’s industry threat landscape, governance model, and security framework
- Incident/Breach Tabletop Exercises: We perform a customized cyber threat simulation on your security program and IT infrastructure that mimics a real breach scenario speciﬁc to your industry
- $0 Incident Response Retainer: We set up a master services agreement with pre-negotiated terms and conditions, including preferred rates which allows you to be ready to react and call upon our specialists in times of crisis
- Cyber Insurance: Aon’s experienced brokerage team considers your security posture, your appetite for risk, and your existing portfolio of traditional property and casualty policies
Tom Hibarger, Senior Managing Director
Cheri D. Carr, Managing Director, DFIR and Cyber Solutions CISO
Heather Hughes, CHPC, HCISPP, Vice President, Engagement Management
Jonathan Rajewski, Vice President, Digital Forensics and Incident Response