FBI Director Wray: The foiled Iranian cyberattack on children’s hospital “one of the most despicable cyberattacks I’ve seen.”
The FBI disclosed Wednesday that the Iranian regime-backed hackers tried to stage a cyberattack against a Boston Children’s Hospital. “The FBI thwarted a planned cyberattack on a children’s hospital in Boston that was to have been carried out by hackers sponsored by the Iranian government,” The Associated Press reported citing the FBI Director Christopher Wray.
The FBI director described the Iranian attempt to strike the patient care at a children’s hospital, which occurred in the summer of 2021, as “one of the most despicable cyberattacks I’ve seen.”
The multi-pronged Iranian cyber attack involved “a system-wide shutdown that could have affected care of children who were patients at the hospital or ransom demands,” CBS News reported citing a U.S. official.
Reuters reported the details of the foiled Iranian cyber attack:
Hackers sponsored by the Iranian government last year attempted a “despicable” cyber attack against Boston Children’s Hospital that threatened to disrupt services to patients, FBI Director Christopher Wray said on Wednesday.
Wray, in a speech delivered at a conference hosted by Boston College, detailed the incident as he warned about the rising threat cyber attacks sponsored by nation states like Iran, Russia and China pose to companies and U.S. infrastructure.
“We got a report from one of our intelligence partners indicating Boston Children’s was about to be targeted, and understanding the urgency of the situation, the cyber squad in our Boston field office raced out to notify the hospital,” Wray said.
The FBI said it contacted the hospital in August 2021, and Wray said officials were able to quickly get the nationally renowned children’s hospital the information it needed to “stop the danger right away” and mitigate the threat.
“Quick actions by everyone involved, especially at the hospital, protected both the network and the sick kids that depend on it,” Wray said in the most extensive disclosure by U.S. authorities of the incident.
Wray in March said that Iranian-sponsored hackers had in June 2021 compromised an unnamed children’s hospital.
Boston Children’s Hospital, a 395-bed facility, in a statement confirmed that FBI and its staff had “proactively thwarted the threat to our network.”
Wray called the incident “one of the most despicable cyberattacks I have ever seen” and an example of the increasing risks hospitals and other providers of critical infrastructure face from hackers, including state-sponsored ones.
“If malicious cyber actors are going to purposefully cause destruction, or hold data and systems for ransom, they tend to hit us somewhere that’s really going to hurt,” Wray said.
Iran’s Cyberwar Against the U.S.
This is not an isolated cyberattack by the Iranian regime-sponsored actors. Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the regime’s international terrorist arm, has been spearheading a cyber warfare campaign against the United States.
Last year alone, several Iranian cyberattacks aimed the U.S. servicemen, government officials and companies came to light. In a massive operation, Iranian agents hacked U.S., European and Israeli companies “producing military-grade radars, drone technology, satellite systems, and emergency response communication systems,” the Jerusalem Post noted in October 2021.
The Iranian cyberattack on the children’s hospital occurred as President Joe Biden’s administration was in the middle of a diplomatic effort to restore the 2015 nuclear deal. The Biden White House eased several key Trump-era sanctions and offered other concessions to coax the Mullah regime back into the flawed nuclear agreement.
Iran’s Advancing Nuke Program
Despite President Biden’s attempts to appease Iran, there are growing signs that the regime is racing to build a nuclear bomb.
Earlier this week, the Israeli government released fresh evidence that Iran has been spying on the United Nation’s atomic agency IAEA, which monitors the regime’s nuclear activities. “Prime Minister Naftali Bennett on Tuesday published documents he said were taken from Iran and show Iranian intelligence spied on the UN’s atomic agency in order to better cover up its rogue nuclear activities,” The Times of Israel reported.
On Monday, IAEA disclosed that it had discovered nuclear material in three undeclared sites in Iran. The UN watchdog added that the regime has failed to explain how the material got there. The IAEA report says that “Iran has not credibly answered the U.N. nuclear watchdog’s long-standing questions on the origin of uranium particles found at three undeclared sites,” Reuters noted.
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