What Happens When A Japanese Hospital's IT System Is Held Ransom?

CNA Insider -- Nov 06

A nurse on night duty at a rural hospital 670km away from Tokyo realises something is amiss when multiple office printers begin spewing out strange printouts.

The papers contain a frightening message: all the hospital’s data have been stolen and encrypted, and if they want it back, they will have to pay a ransom. The hospital has become the victim of a ransomware attack.

Described as the world’s most frightening cyber security threat, global ransomware attacks increased by a jaw-dropping 168% between 2021-2022 and are estimated to cost the world a staggering $20 billion US dollars this year.

Within seconds, the staff of the Japanese hospital are locked out of their system. No longer able to retrieve crucial patient data, they are forced to postpone surgeries, turn away emergency cases, and switch to a paper-based system from scratch.

The hospital declares the attack a disaster. Will they cave in and pay the ransom demand or try to get their systems back online themselves?