Hackers attacked Antwerp laboratory website for ransom

Hackers attacked the “Algemeen Medisch Laboratorium bvba (AML)” website, in the Antwerp district by installing ransomware into it, it brought the website to a standstill. As we have seen in the past as well in the case of ransomware attacks Industry confinement.

ICT manager Maarten Vanheusden has said, “that after detailed analysis by our security teams, it was decided to disengage the network as a safety measure and by this way we can see what exactly is infected”. He also said by this time there is no information of data being stolen and that they are taking all the precautionary measures. Furthermore, the origins of the attack remain unknown as of now. The traces linked back the to China, Russia, and Iran.

AML is the largest private lab in the country which is dealing with the COVID-19 problem. There is no clarity regarding the purpose of the attack, speculations could not exactly suggest that whether the hackers attacked the laboratory merely for ransom or they have other plans as well as data theft. The case is being handled by the federal Computer Crimes Unit after the lab reported the attack to the Antwerp prosecutor`s office.

This is the second time in December that hackers have attacked the sites related to the Covid-19 pandemic. European Medicines Agency (EMA) was targeted in a cyber-attack; EMA is responsible for assessing and approving vaccines for the European Union. German biotech firm BioNTech said, “that the agency was attacked and some documents which were related to the regulatory submission for Pfizer and BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine had been unlawfully accessed”.

Hackers are targeting many healthcare and medical organizations especially during this Covid-19 outbreak for demanding ransom as well as to obtain the classified information related to the vaccines.

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