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A ransomware gang takes aim at U.S. health care. A warning on MSP security is of high interest to state governments. And criminals are using crypto to conceal federal fraud. This is CyberScoop for May 16.

Ransomware gang hits pair of U.S. health care targets

AvosLocker, a prolific ransomware group that was the subject of a recent joint FBI and U.S. Treasury Department warning, claimed last week that it had hit a Dallas-based nonprofit Catholic health system with more than 600 facilities across four U.S. states, Mexico, Chile and Colombia. The attack on CHRISTUS Health marks the second health care system AvosLocker targeted in the last two months. Michigan-based McKenzie Health System began notifying customers last week that patients’ personal data had been stolen from the company’s network in a “security incident” that “disrupted” some of its IT systems in March. The company did not identify the attacker, but AvosLocker posted purported McKenzie data to its dark web leak site April 6. AJ Vicens breaks it down.

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What the MSP alert means for local governments

Organizations that depend on managed service providers for their IT needs got a wake-up call last week when cybersecurity agencies from the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia and New Zealand published a joint alert warning of stepped-up aggression by malicious actors targeting those vendors. Local governments across the U.S. rely on MSPs for a range of functions, but over the past few years, many localities have become just as familiar with ransomware attacks that begin when a criminal actor targets a service provider, eventually compromising that company’s government clients. "It’s almost like stating the obvious, but it wasn’t obvious,” said Alan Shark, the executive director of CompTIA’s Public Technology Institute. “It’s a wake-up call for action. I think it should be taken seriously.” Read more from Benjamin Freed at StateScoop.

Cryptocurrencies compound federal efforts to curb federal fraud

The volume and velocity of criminal activity siphoning taxpayer dollars from federal programs, and the use of cryptocurrency to hide their efforts, has reached stunning levels, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, a group of high-level federal officials said at a law enforcement and public safety technology forum last week. “After 30 years of law enforcement, and 20 years of [investigating] complex fraud, I’ve never seen anything of this magnitude,” said National Pandemic Fraud Recovery Coordinator Roy Dotson, special agent in charge at the U.S. Secret Service. Carole House, the White House National Security Council’s director for cybersecurity and secure digital innovation, echoed those observations, citing government estimates “north of $100 billion in pandemic fraud. The scale is devastating,” she said. Wyatt Kash has the story for FedScoop.

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