UCSF Medical School Pays $1.14 Million to Criminal Hackers

  • The University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) School of Medicine was attacked by Netwalker ransomware and paid hackers $1.14 million to regain access their data.
  • Per school officials, the incident didn’t affect patient care, the overall campus network or COVID-19 work, but the encrypted data was important enough to some of the academic work to make the decision to pay the hackers. Fortunately, a school representative was able to negotiate the payment down from the initial $3 million.
  • Cybersecurity experts report that these types of negotiations are currently occurring all over the world although not encouraged by law enforcement agencies.
  • In April, a ransomware attack shut down the servers of Illinois Valley Community College and in May, the Netwalker ransomware gang attacked Michigan State University.
  • Hackers are increasingly targeting university students and staff members through phishing emails during the coronavirus outbreak.