Hackers who stole patient information from the servers at Mayanei Hayeshua Medical Center in Bnei Brak have made good on their threat to publish the data.
The “Ragnar Locker” group demanded a ransom totaling tens of millions of shekels for the information after the break-in, which took place about a month ago, according to Israel Hayom.
Not having received the money, the ransomware hackers announced on their Telegram account that they had released 402 gigabytes of data in the first tranche.
The group threatened to publish the rest of the information it claimed it was holding if the ransom is not paid, including the personal, medical and psychiatric records of patients who include government and Knesset members, rabbonim, Torah sages and other prominent haredi religious patients.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu underwent treatment for a prostate issue at the hospital in 2015, according to the report.
There is fear in the haredi public that the hackers will create a “Medical WikiLeaks” that could cause serious damage to many members of the Orthodox population, according to the haredi B’Chadarei Haredim news outlet.
Health and Interior Minister MK Moshe Arbel said in response to the initial threat that the government has not previously succumbed to extortion attacks on government data and will not succumb to such attacks on the health system either.
“Along with my instructions to budget tens of millions of shekels for a multi-year cyber preparedness plan in the health system, I also believe it appropriate to publish, on my own initiative, the results of a CT scan I performed at Mayanei Hayeshua Medical Center after a partial resection of my right kidney for a cancerous tumor that was found during tests to determine my eligibility to donate the kidney.
“There is no room for surrendering to blackmail and threats from cyber attackers,” he said. “We must stand as a wall to protect the right to privacy of every patient in the Israeli health system.”
Mayanei Hayeshua Medical Center also responded to the threat, saying in a statement, “The hospital, in cooperation with the Ministry of Health, the National Cyber System, and the enforcement agencies, are continuing the investigation of the attack.”
The hospital said it has returned to full operation and is hardening the computer systems.
“In light of a sweeping gag order, it is not possible at this stage to comment on the details of the investigation or on the publication of the information,” the statement said.
“We trust the relevant authorities and enforcement agencies to do their job faithfully. In accordance with the developments of the investigation and subject to the instructions of the court order, the hospital will operate a dedicated call center for the benefit of the patients.”