Health Law Highlights

Healthcare Hit Hardest by Ransomware Last Year, FBI IC3 Report Shows

From Health IT Security, by Jill McKeon:

The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s 2023 Internet Crime Report reveals that the healthcare sector experienced the highest number of ransomware attacks among all critical infrastructure sectors last year.

The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) recorded an unprecedented 880,418 complaints, marking a 10% increase from the previous year and financial losses exceeding $12.5 billion, a 22% increase. Of the total complaints, 1,193 were from critical infrastructure organizations, with 249 from healthcare and 218 from critical manufacturing.

The report suggests that the high figures from the healthcare sector could be due to its readiness to report such incidents. The FBI has historically struggled to determine the actual number of ransomware victims, as many cases go unreported. The two most prevalent ransomware variants, LockBit and ALPHV/BlackCat, known for targeting healthcare, were responsible for 175 and 100 attacks respectively.

Ransomware was a significant concern across IC3’s complaint database, with over 2,800 complaints related to ransomware, an 18% increase from 2022. Financial losses from these attacks rose by 74% from $34.3 million to $59.6 million. The FBI noted emerging trends, including deploying multiple ransomware variants against the same victim and using data-destruction tactics to increase pressure on victims to negotiate.