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Qilin Cyber Gang Makes $50m Demand Adding Strain to NHS Services

June 2024 by Check Point®

Ransom demands of $50million have been made by Qilin cyber gang following the attack impacting London NHS services over two weeks ago, which consequently has held up patient appointments, blood transfusions and operations. Cyber security expert Deryck Mitchelson, former-CISO at NHS Scotland and head of global CISO at Check Point Software shares his follow up comments and advice for organisations on whether they should pay the ransom demands or not.

"There is no denying that the Qilin ransomware incident has had a huge knock-on effect on the daily running of NHS hospitals in the South-East of England. These attacks always feel quite personal and continue to raise questions about why public services are repeatedly made the target of criminal gangs.

"While details about the data being held are still unclear, the group’s demands for $50 million suggests that it is serious. The size of ransom is based on the scale of disruption and acts as the carrot being dangled to quickly restore services. Although paying it might seem like the easier way out, there are hidden costs to settling. Simply put, there is no guarantee the data will be restored or trustworthy, and it might still end up being exposed after payment.

"For organisations who choose to pay ransoms, it unfortunately won’t protect them from future attacks nor will it prevent the reputational costs they might be left with. So, it is essential that the organisation is clear on the type of data that has been stolen so that they know the scale of the breach and can plan the right route to recovery."

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