There are plenty of reasons to not click on suspicious links in emails. This is because these links can contain files that might be downloaded to your computer which when run, could install malware onto your computer. Sometimes this malware can be a trojan horse designed to provide the hacker with access to their victim’s computer.
Other times, this malware can come in the form of ransomware. Unfortunately, it seems that over in the US, hundreds of dental offices around the country have come under attack by ransomware. The reason for why so many offices were affected, is because two companies that provide online services to these dentist offices were affected themselves, resulting it in being distributed to these offices.
Speaking to CNN, Shae Johnson, the Clinical Coordinator at Dentistry Design in McFarland, Wisconsin said, “We have no access to the patient charts, schedule, x-rays, or payment ledger. The doctor cannot do proper treatment without a chart history and x-rays.” Brenna Sadler, a spokeswoman for Digital Dental Record (one of the companies affected) said that the restoration process has already begun, but it is expected to be a difficult and lengthy process.
For those who are unfamiliar, ransomware attacks involve encrypting all the content on your hardware in which victims will need to pay the hackers a ransom to get the decryption key. This isn’t the first time a medical institution has been affected. A few years ago, a few hospitals were similarly attacked and had to fork out $17,000 to get their files back.