Bitcoin Ransomware Targeting Hospitals Amidst Ongoing Pandemic

Michael LaVere
  • Ransomware groups are still targeting hospitals despite the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.
  • Reports confirm the bitcoin-related Ryuk program is attacking healthcare institutions. 

Operators of the Ryuk Ransomware are continuing to target hospitals amidst the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. 

According to a report by BleepingComputer, multiple ransomware groups say they will continue targeting hospitals, despite the institutions being overburdened by the current crisis. The tech news outlet was able to contact seven ransomware groups, with the majority confirming they would continue to target hospitals and other medical centers. 

Maze and DoppelyPaymer were the only two groups to say they would no longer target healthcare, with the former returning data from a drug testing company prior to the outbreak. 

Operators of the bitcoin-related Ryuk ransomware program did not respond to BleepingComputer’s inquiry. However, other reports claim the group is taking advantage of the current pandemic to target healthcare providers. 

Vitali Kremez, head of research at AI security platform SentinelOne, told BleepingComputer that ransomware attacks against hospitals have not subsided, despite the impact of the Coronavirus. 

He said, 

Not only has their healthcare targeting not stopped but we have also seen a continuous trend of exploiting healthcare organizations in the middle of the global pandemic.

Featured Image Credit: Photo via Pixabay.com

Binance Acquires Crypto Debit Card Issuer for an Undisclosed Sum

Leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance has acquired cryptocurrency debit card issuer Swipe for an undisclosed sum, in a deal that gets the platform one step closer to issuing its Binance Card.

Finance Magnates reports the firms shared revealed the companies will “work together to further mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies,” by further bringing fiat and digital assets together. The deal will allow for cryptos to be used as a payment method in the traditional financial system.

Binance unveiled its plan to launch a Visa crypto debit card earlier this year, but was having difficulties implementing it. The acquisition of crypto start Swipe should help fix these difficulties and support the exchange in its “mission of making crypto more accessible to the masses.”

Per Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, off-ramps are a key component to be considered in its mission. He added:

By giving users the ability to convert and spend crypto directly, and have merchants still seamlessly accept fiat, this will make the crypto experience much better for everyone.

Binance and Swipe listed each other’s native tokens as part of the deal. Binance now has trading pairs for Swipe’s SXP token, while the Binance Coin (BNB) was added to the cryptocurrencies, stablecoins, and fiat currencies available as a payment method on Swipe.

Swipe, it’s worth noting, converts cryptoassets into fiat currencies at the point of purchase. Users pay in a cryptoassets of their choice, which is then converted into fiat currency the merchant receives, so the latter does not have to manage cryptoassets, or accept payments in them directly.

Swipe’s cards are issued by Contis Financial Services, a visa Principal Member regulated by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority. They are available in 31 countries within the European Economic Area, and support transactions in euros, pounds, U.S. dollars, Korean won, and Philippine pesos.

The firm’s CEO Joselito Lizarondo revealed partnering will Binance will “place Swipe in the position to make cryptocurrencies more accessible for millions of users worldwide.” Binance Card users will be able to get up to 4% cashback in bitcoin on their purchases, which will be available in over 50 million locations in the world.

Featured image via Pixabay.