Headline, October 08 2020/ ''' MASTERLY - ''CYBERATTACKS' '- MEDICAL''' : RANSOMWARE





COMPANIES AND RESEARCH LABS ON THE Front Lines of the pandemic.

Have been repeat targets of foreign hackers over the past seven months, as countries around the world have tried to gauge one another's responses and progress in addressing the virus.

In May, the F.B.I and the Department of Homeland security warned that Chinese government spies were actively trying to steal American clinical research through through cybertheft.

A Philadelphia company that sells software used in hundreds of classical trials, including the crash efforts to develop tests, treatments treatments and a vaccine for the coronavirus, was hit by ransomware attack that has slowed some of those trials over the past two weeks.

The attack on eResearch Technology, which has not previously been reported, began on Sept. 20 when employees discovered that they were locked out of  their data by ransomware, an attack that holds victims data hostage until they they pay to unlock it.

ERT said clinical trial patients were never at risk, but some customers said the attack had forced trial researchers to track their patients with pen and paper.

Among those hit were IQVIA, the contact research organization helping manage AstraZeneca's Covid vaccine trial, and Bristol Myers Squibb, the drug maker leading a consortium of companies to develop a quick test for the virus.

ERT has not said how many clinical trials were affected, but its software is used in drug trials across Europe, Asia and North America. It was used in three quarters of trials that led to drug approvals by the Food and Drug Administration last year, according to its website.

On Friday, Drew Bustos, ERT's vice president of marketing, confirmed that ransomware had seized its systems on Sept-20. As a precaution, Mr. Bostos said the company took its system offline that day, called in outside cybersecurity experts and notified the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

''Nobody feels great about these experiences, but this has been contained,'' Mr. Boston said. He added that ERT was starting to bring its systems back online last Friday and planned to bring remaining systems over the coming days.

Mr. Buston said it was too early to say who was behind the attack. He declined to say whether the company paid its extortionists, as so many companies hit by ransomware now do.

The attack on ERT follows another major ransomware attack last month on Universal Health Services, a major hospital chain with more than 400 locations, many in the United States.

NBC News first reported the attack on UHS last Monday and said it appeared to be ''one of the largest medical cyberattacks in United States history.''

The incidents followed more than a thousand ransomware attacks on American cities, counties and hospitals over the past 18 months.

Meanwhile, more than a dozen countries have redeployed military and intelligence hackers to glean what they can about other nations' responses, according to security researchers.

Even countries that previously did not stand out for the cyber prowess, like South Korea and Vietnam, have been named in recent security reports as countries that are engaged in hacking global health organizations in the pandemic.

The advance research on Cyberattacks, Ransomware and Modern Times, continues. The World Students Society thanks author, Nicole Periroth.

With respectful dedication to the Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all prepare and register for Great Global Elections on The World Students Society : wssciw.blogspot.com and Twitter - !E-WOW! - The Ecosystem 2011 :

''' Attacks - Attempt '''

Good Night and God Bless

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