GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services told FOX 17 via email on Monday that they recently experienced an increase in attempted hackings on their healthcare organizations. Nothing resulted from it, they said. All staff and patient information was protected. However, they’ve alerted staff to be aware of suspicious emails.
Michigan State University professor Tom Holt said considering Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, that’s the best thing all companies and institutions can do at this time.
“The primary targets for a cyberattack that would come from a nation-state like Russia at the moment would be critical infrastructure: hospitals, power systems, sewer, water, anything that’s internet-connected that could have a destabilizing impact on the country,” Holt said during a Zoom interview on Monday. “The likelihood of an attack is questionable. We don’t really know what would happen. But, the fact that the war is still ongoing and the number of sanctions seem to be increasing and the economic impacts against Russia are really becoming evident, that’s when the risk is getting higher.”
Pine Rest did not state whether their experience is connected to the unrest overseas.
However, Holt said that cyberattacks and ransomware attacks have become more prevalent over the last 5-10 years. When they happen it can take days to years to recover. So, he suggested that workers pay close attention to their emails and the IP addresses connected to them now.
“So, asking for your user name, your password, any sensitive details trying to get you to click on the link that’s outside of the boundaries of where you’d normally go, those are all the easiest points of attack,” said Holt, who specializes in criminal justice. “Be mindful of what you’re getting and why you need to respond to it. That’s the first thing. That all goes just for us as normal citizens. But the likelihood that somebody’s going to send ransomware to your computer as a person, as a home user is a little bit lower compared to when you’re in your working environment.”