Gongol.com Archives: June 2024

Brian Gongol

June 15, 2024

Computers and the Internet Hospital lockdowns

A number of "major London hospitals", as the BBC called them, were targeted in a significant cyberattack thought to be the work of a Russian criminal group. It went beyond a case of ransomware, where data was held hostage, and escalated instead to a case where the actual operation of the hospitals' computer systems themselves were held hostage. ■ Hundreds of appointments and even operations were cancelled. The attackers took aim at a pathology services group, which brings vital services like blood tests to a screeching halt. ■ Cyberattacks exist in a domain that is uncomfortable for the existing frameworks of law: The same attack can be a crime (they're after money), it can be terroristic (what else would you call it if armed gangs took over the blood labs at a hospital?), and under some circumstances it can be viewed as warfare. In this case, the attackers are thought to be in Russia -- where cyberattacks are not just performed for criminal gain, but also to advance malignant state interests. ■ The need for informed policy-making -- with increased awareness and comprehension among elected officials, civil servants, and voters, too -- is extremely high, and growing higher by the day. There is no use in standing by and hoping that the problem resolves itself or goes away.

@briangongol on Twitter