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The Change’s Hacker’s Ransomware Attack on Healthcare Recently Received a $22 Million Payment!


CNS NewsIn a recent turn of events, the ransomware group known as AlphV or BlackCat has purportedly received a staggering $22 million payment following their disruptive cyberattack on Change Healthcare, a medical firm in the United States. The attack, which targeted pharmacies nationwide, including those within hospitals, caused significant disruptions in the delivery of prescription drugs for over 10 days.

On March 1, a Bitcoin address associated with AlphV received 350 bitcoins, equivalent to approximately $22 million based on prevailing exchange rates. Subsequently, an affiliate of AlphV, posting under the pseudonym “notchy,” alleged on the cybercriminal underground forum RAMP that they had been cheated out of their share of the ransom.

This revelation points to the likelihood that Change Healthcare has indeed paid the ransom to AlphV. Security researchers, including Dmitry Smilyanets from Recorded Future, have corroborated this claim, citing the significant transaction and its connection to the Change Healthcare attack.

While Change Healthcare has not confirmed whether a ransom was paid, the implications of such a substantial payment are concerning. Brett Callow from security firm Emsisoft warns that ransomware payments not only fund future attacks but also incentivize further targeting of vulnerable sectors like healthcare.

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Furthermore, the dispute within the criminal underground highlights the untrustworthiness of dealing with cyber criminals, as affiliates who aided in the attack may still possess sensitive data and could potentially exploit it for additional gain. The $22 million payment represents a lucrative windfall for AlphV and underscores the profitability of ransomware attacks, despite the risks they pose to critical industries.

AlphV’s resurgence following an FBI operation in December, which temporarily disrupted their activities, demonstrates the persistence and adaptability of cybercriminal groups. The attack on Change Healthcare adds to AlphV’s list of victims, raising concerns about the cybersecurity resilience of healthcare organizations and the broader implications for cybersecurity policy and enforcement.

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