#COVID19 Hospital Construction Firms Hit by Cyber-Attacks

Two construction firms that helped to build emergency hospitals to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic have been attacked by separate cyber-attacks, it has emerged.

Bam Construct, which worked on the Yorkshire and Humber hospital, appears to have fallen victim to a ransomware attack, whilst Interserve, which worked on Birmingham's NHS Nightingale, may have suffered a major data breach.

A Bam spokesman is reported to have said the business “stood up well” after the incident last week, despite being forced to take services offline to mitigate the attack.

“Our own precautions have had more of an effect on our normal working procedures than the virus itself, but it is important for us to be absolutely confident that restoring all systems – at a time when we are working from home in unprecedented numbers – is done carefully,” he said.

Meanwhile, a statement on Interserve’s website posted yesterday said the firm was a target of an attack earlier this month.

“Interserve is working closely with the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and Strategic Incident Response teams to investigate, contain and remedy the situation. This will take some time and some operational services may be affected. Interserve has informed the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) of the incident. We will provide further updates when appropriate,” it noted.

“Interserve’s employees, former employees, clients and suppliers are requested to exercise heightened vigilance during this time.”

Some reports have suggested as many as 100,000 employees may have been affected by the attack on an HR database.

“A wider variety of hacking tools that would typically be used by sophisticated groups are trickling down to smaller groups or individuals,” warned Sam Curry, chief security officer at Cybereason.

“Ultimately, this creates a bigger challenge for security analysts to stay ahead of threats. Identification, remediation, 24x7 threat hunting and activating an incident response team is critical to prevent malicious and material damage from occurring in the supply chain.”

French construction giant Bouygues revealed back in February that it had been the victim of a “ransomware-type virus.”

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