05.03.20

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Microsoft Kills: Hospitals Taken Over by Windows Crackers and Hospital Staff Threatened Not to Talk About It

Posted in Microsoft, Security, Windows at 10:57 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

When your hospital runs software with NSA back doors that crackers are aware of, familiar with, and ready to exploit using the NSA’s leaked software tools

Windows Update

Summary: Gag orders prevent hospital staff from talking about Microsoft Windows bringing hospitals to a standstill following attacks on Windows itself (a trivial task for even inexperienced crackers looking for some cryptocurrency while people’s lives are at stake)

THE reluctance to use GNU/Linux (or BSD/UNIX) at hospitals is noteworthy. It’s simply irrational to put on such absolutely critical systems a proprietary operating system which, as is already widely known, has contained back doors for decades. It’s beyond reckless and people who sign off the paperwork ought to be held accountable.

“It’s beyond reckless and people who sign off the paperwork ought to be held accountable.”An introduction to this topic was published some old morning (last year). We recently learned about hospitals that had been victims of ransomware. The details are not pretty. To say the least…

Our goal here isn’t to name the hospitals and definitely not to name sources. Instead, in order to protect our sources, we are going to specify details as vaguely as possible (times, names, locations).

“I can’t talk about it in public,” one source told us, “of course [...] and I don’t know all of the details but it’s much more brutal than the happy stories you see in the news where the criminals are paid off and things are back to normal in three days.”

“Instead, in order to protect our sources, we are going to specify details as vaguely as possible (times, names, locations).”We have been presented some evidence to show what happened. We cannot reproduce it here as that might harm the privacy of sources and patients alike. What the evidence shows is direct disruption to hospitals’ operations. In the departments concerned it may be a question of life and death.

“The network and electronic medical records systems have been down for more than a week,” one person told us. “Some kind of malware jumped out of an email and quickly took over the network. In particular, the [redacted] system was “destroyed” and and doctors have to walk themselves to see any CT imaging. Even that’s pretty useless because they have no way to access patient records. The emergency room has been shut down, all patients are sent to other clinics. I wonder if they have the capacity.”

They probably don’t.

“As readers can probably understand, publishing the evidence online isn’t practical as it would lead to reprisal.”“It was all Windows, of course,” the person added. “Even the [redacted] system was running on Microsoft because the IT people were complete Microsoft flunkies.”

As one might expect.

“Hospital staff is terrified and won’t say much,” we learned. “They are under threat of job loss if anything gets out. That, I suppose, includes me.”

Patients should never be rendered hostages with ransom money. But this is a Microsoft gift that keeps ‘giving’.

In the next part we’ll present further discussion. As readers can probably understand, publishing the evidence online isn’t practical as it would lead to reprisal. It’s a tricky issue to cover, but it is doable. We have supporting material for everything.

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