United Health spends $2 billion in ransomware recovery

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UnitedHealth recently disclosed that it has disbursed approximately $2 billion to its healthcare subsidiaries affected by a ransomware attack detected last month. The company also announced plans to roll out medical claims preparation software to assist customers in managing payments for medical bills against inventory lists.

Andrew Witty, CEO of UnitedHealth, confirmed the authenticity of the statement and reported that 90% of the pharmacy computer network systems impacted by the cyber-attack at Change Healthcare had been restored by the previous Sunday. As a result, the payment management software, crucial for processing medications and services covered by insurers, is expected to be fully operational by the upcoming weekend.

In response to the severity of the situation, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra and Deputy Andrew Palm held an emergency meeting with White House officials to address cyber risks stemming from the Change Healthcare cyber-attack. The meeting emphasized the importance of support from insurance companies and focused on strategies for assisting affected parties.

The rise in cyberattacks targeting the healthcare sector globally is deeply concerning, especially considering the potential for emergencies such as those witnessed during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns in April 2020 and 2021.

Furthermore, it is evident that cybercriminals, driven by profit, disregard the humanitarian implications of their actions, instead prioritizing their immediate gains or supporting governments engaged in digital attacks for geopolitical reasons.

Governments worldwide must unite with the singular goal of eradicating or, at the very least, significantly reducing such cyber threats. Mere measures such as cryptocurrency bans or the apprehension of individual criminals do little to address the root cause of these attacks and provide insufficient deterrence.

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Naveen Goud
Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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