Ransomware Is Headed Down a Dire Path
At the end of September, an emergency room technician in the United States gave WIRED a real-time account of what it was like inside their hospital as a ransomware attack raged. With their digital systems locked down by hackers, health care workers were forced onto backup paper systems. They were already straining to manage patients during the pandemic; the last thing they needed was more chaos. “It is a life-or-death situation,” the technician said at the time.
The same scenario was repeated around the country this year, as waves of ransomware attacks crashed down on hospitals and health care provider networks, peaking in September and October. School districts, meanwhile, were walloped by attacks that crippled their systems just as students were attempting to come back to class, either in person or remotely. Corporations and local and state governments faced similar attacks at equally alarming rates.