Security News > 2024 > January > After injecting cancer hospital with ransomware, crims threaten to swat patients
The idea being, it seems, that those patients and the media coverage from any swatting will put pressure on the US hospital to pay up and end the extortion.
"Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center was aware of cyber criminals issuing swatting threats and immediately notified the FBI and Seattle police, who notified the local police," a spokesperson told The Register today.
"As we work with third-party specialists to investigate this matter and determine the scope of affected data and to whom that data relates, we are providing the latest information for patients and the public here," a spokesperson for Integris told The Register.
"Ransoms have been allowed to reach lottery jackpot levels, and the predictable upshot is that people are willing to use more and more extreme measures to collect a payout," Emsisoft threat analyst Brett Callow told The Register.
Earlier this week, the security shop called for a complete ban on ransom payments, noting that extortion tactics were becoming more extreme and now include swatting threats.
Sam Rubin, VP of Unit 42 Consulting at Palo Alto Networks, told The Register his team hadn't seen any swatting attempts by extortion crews in 2023, though the shift in tactics seems likely.
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