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Russian hackers have claimed responsibility for a cyberattack that took more than a dozen US hospitals’ websites offline on Monday morning.

Killnet, a pro-Russian hacking group infamous for DDoS attacks over the last year, claims to have taken down the websites of 14 US hospitals. Stanford Healthcare, Duke University Hospital, and Cedars-Sinai are among them.

On Monday, the United States Department of Health and Human Services Cybersecurity Center (HC3) issued an analyst note warning the healthcare industry about the attacks.

On January 28, 2023, the alleged Killnet attack lists for hospitals and medical organizations in several countries was found by users and publically shared. (…) The group is known to launch DDoS attacks and operates multiple public channels aimed at recruitment and garnering attention from these attacks.

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HC3 also argues that Killnet attacks rarely inflict significant harm, but service disruptions might persist for several hours or days.

What Hospitals Were Targeted?

The attack targeted the websites of Stanford Healthcare in California, Duke University Hospital in Durham (North Carolina), Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles (California), University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in Pennsylvania, Jefferson Health in Philadelphia, Abrazo Health in Phoenix (Arizona), and Atlanticare in Atlantic County (New Jersey), according to Cyber News.

Many of the websites are already operational again.

During Monday’s attacks on the United States, Dutch officials revealed that Killnet successfully took out multiple hospitals in the Netherlands using DDoS attacks.

Last Monday, Biden pledged 31 M1 Abrams tanks, enough to equip an entire tank battalion in Ukraine. The Netherlands has refused to provide tanks to Ukraine because it does not own any outright and instead leases them from Germany. It did, however, agree earlier this month to deliver a Patriot missile defense system to the war-torn country, explains Info Security.

The US healthcare system has recently become the target of Killnet’s second coordinated strike. On December 23, a group of pro-Russian hackers breached a US healthcare facility that provides care to US service members and succeeded in stealing patient data.

DDoS attacks are malicious attempts to disrupt the normal traffic of a targeted server, service, or network by overwhelming it with a flood of internet traffic generated from multiple sources. The aim of these attacks is to exhaust the target’s resources, making it unavailable to its intended users.

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Author Profile

Madalina Popovici

Digital PR Specialist

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Madalina, a seasoned digital content creator at Heimdal®, blends her passion for cybersecurity with an 8-year background in PR & CSR consultancy. Skilled in making complex cyber topics accessible, she bridges the gap between cyber experts and the wider audience with finesse.

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