Cyber attack hits TMC: Cyber security expert explains

Published: Sep. 29, 2020 at 10:29 PM CDT
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DENISON, Texas (KXII) - One of the largest health care and hospital networks in the nation, Universal Health Services, has been hit by a cyber attack.

The attack shut down entire computer systems, and closed off access to medical records and communication methods for hospitals across the nation, including Texoma Medical Center.

Monday, UHS reported that their system was down due to an ‘IT security issue,' but tech expert Chris Carter told News 12, he believes it was a ransomware attack.

“One person clicks on that link, and it gets deployed on that person’s laptop or desk top, then it just runs through the network.” said Cyber Security expert Chris Carter.

Carter, the CEO of Approyo, has worked in tech for over 30 years.

“It attacks part of the system, it locks it down and freezes it and in order for people to get their software back, they have to pay a ransom” Carter said.

He said hackers use the dark web to build codes, engineered to take over systems and ask for ransom, like bitcoin or money.

In the meantime, hackers have access to private information like social security cards, IDs and any other personal information.

“It could attack the hardware, it could attack the mother board, but once it hits, just like UHS, it shuts everything down if they (hackers) want it to.” Carter

Online I-T publication TechCrunch is reporting the hack has qualities consistent with the work of ‘Ryuk’ ransomware.

Carter said that is a code name, almost like a brand, that a hacker uses to navigate through systems.

“They’re always looking for vulnerably, an open port, an open system that hasn’t been tested properly. Or, somebody on the inside.” Carter said.

Carter said he has confidence the U.S. Cyber Security and Infrastructure Agency will catch the hacker.

He said if any patients happen to die because of hospital complications, due to the ransomware attack, the hacker responsible could be charged with murder.

The UHS said they are using ‘offline documentation’ and back up processes, until their network is restored.

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