We have said time and again that it is particularly dangerous when a hacking takes place in the healthcare sector because not only is the data of doctors and staff at risk but the data of patients that have been admitted is also at risk. There is also an agenda behind hacking companies in the health sector in order to gain an advantage over what they are currently working on and how they are treating their patients.
But during the times of COVID, we have seen that PPE kits or personal protective equipment as we call it, is in high demand for the safety of frontline workers. Therefore, many countries including China and India have started making PPE kits at scale so that they can provide adequate kits at home and also export them as a business. Similarly, Germany also started making PPE kits and we have reports that one company in Germany making PPE kits was recently targeted.
We are also getting information that Germany’s government “tasked nine multinational companies, including pharmaceutical giant Bayer and automaker Volkswagen, with procuring personal protective equipment to make up for a lack of gear”. All these companies obliged and started making PPE kits as per government order in the face of a public health emergency.
At the same time, there were unidentified hackers who started targeting at least one of these companies out of the nine in order to get some information on how they are making PPE kits and more. This research done by IBM reveals that “more than 100 senior management and procurement executives at the company and its suppliers in multiple sectors”. However, the researchers are not sure if the attack was successful and whether or not any information was leaked out. The attacks were carried out by sending phishing emails to senior officials of the company.