Interpol has added a new dimension to the global fight against Coronavirus. It is regarding cybercriminals who threaten the health services and want to exploit the crisis. These groups want to hold the medical infrastructure to ransom. Interpol has issued a global alert on the subject of ransomware attacks. The attackers infiltrate the computer systems of healthcare organizations and lock genuine users out until their demand for a ransom is met. The attackers want to exploit the situation created by the outbreak where time is of the essence. Delay in the implementation of critical decisions and activities could mean serious consequences.

NHS Digital has already issued some guidelines for healthcare providers on the subject of cyber activities and cautioned them about these new developments related to COVID-19.

Sky News says Interpol advised healthcare providers about methods used by potential hackers. They usually entice users to open links to malicious websites, thereby allowing them to gain entry into the computer systems. The team of Interpol experts has noticed an increase in such attacks resulting in a spate of attempted ransomware attacks on a global scale.

Interpol has alerted all its member countries and it is tying up with the cybersecurity industry to rein in this growing menace. The agency is collecting past data on such crimes to evolve suitable counter-strategies.

Cybercriminals attack coronavirus hospitals

The coronavirus threat has stretched resources to the maximum because of the nature of the disease.

Those infected need immediate care and the systems depend on computerization. Obviously, any delay in the implementation of decisions could cascade into a major crisis. The cybercriminals try to exploit this aspect. Jurgen Stock, Interpol's secretary, warns these attacks could be deadly. In his opinion, cybercriminals want to make a profit at the expense of sick patients.

When the criminals deny the hospital access to the critical systems, there will be delays in providing a swift medical response. It might also end up in the loss of lives.

Sky News goes to the extent of explaining various steps that the cybercriminals adopt to complete their mission. NHS has to maintain the database of its patients and ensure the delivery of safe patient care.

Those who handle the data must remain vigilant to any suspicious emails from unknown people. They might appear innocent but could prove to be the entry point of the criminals. The associated IT and cybersecurity teams must ensure virus definitions are updated and patch up any possible security vulnerabilities. Western intelligence agencies have zeroed in on a hacking organization of North Korea which could be a part of such setups.

A new crime scenario emerges from coronavirus

According to Euronews, the COVID-19 pandemic has created a new crime scene. The head of Interpol issued a word of caution and warned about organized crime groups. They have modified their activities and want to exploit from the ongoing global health crisis.

One aspect is supplying counterfeited medical items necessary as protective material. Another is telephone fraud trying to extract money from gullible people who fall for sob stories. A third aspect, which is more serious, is about cybercriminals. They wait for an opportunity to spread malware into the computer systems of hospitals. Interpol has already made arrests against the illicit online sale of medicines and medical products.

Coronavirus has brought the world to its knees

COVID-19, the life-threatening disease from Wuhan in China, has literally left the people helpless. The outbreak has paralyzed the world and forced people to remain indoors. It is contagious and people are advised to avoid social contact.

The result is empty roads, locked movie halls, parks, stadiums. In view of closed cinema halls due to coronavirus, Netflix and other streaming services want to step in. They want to be the alternative to keep people isolated. The disease has been active since January, has spread to different parts of the world and the death toll keeps rising. It is necessary to evolve a medicine on priority to contain the disease. In the opinion of New York Governor Cuomo, thousands of people could die from coronavirus.

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