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Ransomware that won’t quit: SamSam still pummeling U.S. healthcare

October 30, 2018 / Jessica Davis

The notorious SamSam ransomware – that hampered Allscripts for a week and shut down the city of Atlanta’s government – has not let up as the year draws to a close. And its hackers are continuing to target the U.S, especially the healthcare sector. According to a new Symantec report, the SamSam hacking group has targeted at least 67 organizations this year, with 56 attacks in the U.S. Just a small number of attacks were reported in France, Portugal, Ireland, Israel, and Australia. The “highly active group” is going after a wide range of sectors, but healthcare organizations appear to be the hackers’ preferred choice. In fact, 24 percent of SamSam attacks in 2018 was in the healthcare sector. “Why healthcare was a particular focus remains unknown,” the report authors wrote. “The attackers may believe that healthcare organizations are easier to infect, or they may believe that these organizations are more likely to pay the ransom.&rdqu...