|Computer virus bomb. Credit: Hiroshi Watanabe Getty Images
Topics: Biology, Computer Science, Medical Physics, Politics, Research
I use Opera almost exclusively because it allows me to surf with a personal VPN I've set up. I don't know what measures mobile phone providers are coming up with countermeasures for the malware that makes the Internet the wild west. As a nation, we have the self-inflicted wound of a "healthcare" system that is oxymoron, less geared towards service than profitability. The dollars swimming in their stock portfolios makes the greedy inadvertently along with all of us targets.
Hospitals and medical devices in the U.S. are extremely vulnerable to the type of massive cyber attack that tore through more than 150 countries Friday, and some health care providers here may have already been—or soon will be—hit, cybersecurity analysts warn.
The attack relied on a type of malicious software called ransomware, which keeps users from accessing their computer systems until they pay a ransom. The pernicious new strain, aptly named WannaCry, froze or slowed business and health care computer systems around the world, including several within the U.K.’s National Health Service.
The malware exploits a vulnerability in the Windows operating system that many system administrators have not yet patched—including at many U.S. hospitals, experts warn. Moreover, WannaCry does not distinguish between a computer, smartphone or medical device. And, unlike the case with many other cyber attacks, a user need not click a link to unknowingly install it; if a health care system is connected to the internet and using an outdated system, the malware can find it and infect it.
Scientific American: U.S. Hospitals Not Immune to Crippling Cyber Attacks
Dina Fine Maron