Check Point: 25% jump in cyber attacks on medical institutions in Israel at the end of 2020

Medical institutions became an elite target for hackers and cybercriminals during the Corona crisis. According to the data, these are about 620 weekly attacks on average against medical institutions around the world, while in Israel the figure is even more serious and stands at about 813 weekly attacks on average.

Hacker attacking internet

Medical institutions have become an elite target for hackers and cybercriminals. According to data published today (Tuesday) by the Israeli cyber company Check Point, a sharp increase of about 25% was observed between the period before November this year and the months of November, December and early January in the number of attacks in such institutions (hospitals, clinics, health funds and research institutes ) In Israel. Global data are even more alarming, with a jump of about 45% from November to the beginning of January on average worldwide. These numbers cross continents and geographies: a 145% increase in Central Europe, 137% in East Asia, 112% in South America, 67% in Europe and 37% in North America.

The numbers are about 620 weekly attacks on average against medical institutions in the world. In Israel, the figure is even more severe, averaging about 813 weekly attacks. The types of attacks are – ransomware, botnets, remote software activation, denial of service (DDoS) – with the most significant increase in ransomware attacks.

One of the major problems facing the medical sector is the lack of protection and the relative ease with which hackers can infiltrate medical computer networks. The pursuit of the vaccine for corona as well as the growing importance of hospitals, clinics and public health research institutes is making their availability a source of hacking. Hackers know how to exploit this to blackmail governments and health care institutions for their own needs.

The hackers see hospitals as easy targets, explains Omar Dembisanki, director of data intelligence at Check Point. It was also found that attack times are scheduled for periods such as holidays and weekends. It is estimated that these are easier hours to attack during them due to a decrease in the attention and alertness of the staff. Another difficult problem is that quite a few medical teams are not skilled at detecting assault attempts such as suspicious emails or strange messages which makes it easier for attackers to trap employees.