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US, Canada issue joint ransomware alert after string of hospital attacks
Becker's Hospital Review

A joint alert from the United States and Canadian governments warns of the growing threat of ransomware attacks and outlines measures to take to prevent computer networks from being locked. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Canadian Cyber Incident Response Centre released the alert Thursday.

The alert names several prominent ransomware variants that have emerged over the past few years, including Symantec, Xorist, CtyptorBit, CryptoLocker, Samas and Locky.

The Locky ransomware variant is reportedly responsible for the ransomware attacks at Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center in Los Angeles and Methodist Hospital in Henderson, Ky.

Ransomware attacks can be so effective because they create a sense of fear and panic in end users, according to the alert. This fear can drive users to click on a malicious link or pay the ransom.