LockBit Adds DDoS Attacks to its Extortion Strategy

The Universal Health Services (UHS) was reportedly hit by Ryuk ransomware attackers, who made their systems go offline. UHS has later confirmed the cyberattack but didn’t specially mention who the culprit behind could be. But from the sayings of a few employees reveals it Ryuk gang. UHS has shifted critical patients to other hospitals and trying to bring back their systems online.

UHS Systems go Offline after a Cyberattack

Universal Health Services (UHS) is one of the largest hospital chains with over 400 facilities and 90,000 employees. They serve more than 3.5 million patients in the US and UK and is a part of Fortune 500 companies. The hospital has lately confirmed about a security incident, where some of its IT equipment is shut down.

Starting early Sunday, the hospital has barred employees from accessing various IT systems after realizing an attack, which is encrypting systems. An employee told that “We have no access to anything computer-based including old labs, ekg’s, or radiology studies. We have no access to our PACS radiology system.”

The hospital then shut down all their systems to avoid being encrypted and redirected ambulances and patients to other nearby hospitals for care. A similar incident happened last week caused a German hospital to redirect a patient, who reportedly died due to delayed care.

Ryuk Gang – The Possible Culprit

Though UHS didn’t specially mention Ryuk ransomware to be the cause, several employees talked to BleepingComputer revealed it to be the Ryuk gang. One said the file names are added with .ryk extensions during the process and others said the systems displaying a ransom note has “Shadow of the Universe” written on it. This is the same phrase mentioned at the end of all previous Ryuk’s ransom notes.

Though UHS didn’t reveal how many systems were affected or the attacker details, it said that no patients or the employee data were affected by this security incident. Also, it’s now trying to bring back all the systems online gradually.

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