A Philadelphia company, accepted attack ransomware that slowed down some of the tests COVID-19 in the last two weeks. This company sells software used in hundreds of clinical trials, including the development effort test, treatments and a coronavirus vaccine.
The attack on eResearchTechnology, started two weeks ago when employees discovered they had been locked out of data ransomware, an attack that holds victims' data hostage until they pay to unlock it. THE ERT said patients were never at risk, but clients said the attack forced investigators to monitor their patients with pen and paper.
Among those affected were IQVIA, the research organization that helped manage the Covid-19 vaccine test in AstraZeneca and Bristol Myers Squibb, which led a consortium of companies to develop a rapid test for the virus.
Η ERT has not said how many clinical trials have been affected, but its software is used in drug trials across the Europe, The Asia and North America. It was used in three-quarters of the tests that led to approval by the Food and Drug Administration last year, according to its website.
On Friday, o Drew Bustos, ERT Vice President of Marketing, confirmed that ransomware had taken over his systems on September 20th. As a precaution, the company unplugged its systems that day, called outside cybersecurity experts and informed the Federal Bureau of Investigation, according to the New Y Times.
«No one feels good in such cases, but this is limitedSaid Bustos. He also said that ERT started restoring its systems online again on Friday and planned to bring the rest of the systems online in the coming days.
Bustos said it was still too early to say who might have been behind the attack. He declined to say whether the company paid the blackmailers, as most ransomware companies do.
The attack follows another major ransomware attack last weekend at Universal Health Services, a large hospital chain with more than 400 locations, many in the United States.
The attack was first reported by NBC News on UHS on Monday, and said it appears to be "one of the largest cyber medical attacks in the history of the United States».
The incidents followed more than a thousand ransomware attacks in American cities, counties and hospitals the last 18 months.
A ransomware attack on Germany, resulted The first known death from a cyber attack in recent weeks, after Russian hackers seized 30 servers at the University Hospital Düsseldorf, crashing systems and forcing it hospital evacuate emergency patients. As a result, German authorities said a woman in critical condition was taken to a hospital 20 miles away in Wuppertal and died of delayed treatment.
One of her clients ERT, IQVIA, said it was able to reduce the problems because it had made copies security of his data. THE Bristol Myers Squibb He also said the impact of the attack was limited, but other ERT clients had to transfer their clinical trials to paper.
Companies and research labs at the forefront of the pandemic have been recurring hacker targets for the past seven months, even though we are in a difficult period in the midst of a pandemic. In May, the FBI. and the Department of Homeland Security warned that Chinese government spies were trying to steal US clinical research through cyberspace.
Note that no patients were affected by the ransomware attack, but the incident was another reminder of the dangers of increasingly frequent attacks on computer networks.