Turkish hackers claim responsibility for LA hospital ransomware

Turkish hackers have claimed responsibility for the recent ransomware attack on a Los Angeles hospital.

Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Centre was infected with ransomware several weeks ago, shutting down the hospital's computer systems for nearly two weeks and resulting in a payout of more than £12,000.

The identity of the attackers was unknown, up until now. Recently, people claiming to have carried out the attack on the hospital posted a mission statement on Pastebin, a website favoured by hackers for making announcements or releasing data dumps.

The statement reads, “thanks to feebleness of weak-willed Americans we became richer and earned $17k!” (£12,000). The statement continues “you must understand that Turkey is the great cyber-power whose might you have witnessed!  If Washington keeps on supporting Kurdish terrorists Turkish hackers will become richer!”

The posters are trying to justify their actions by the fact that Western powers, including the USA are supporting Kurdish forces in the fight against the Islamic State. The question of Kurdish statehood is a tense one for the Middle East and especially so for Turkey, as a large portion of it's population is Kurdish.

That said, this statement is by no means proof the individuals who posted this carried out the attack. Kevin Epstein, VP of the Threat Operations Centre at Proofpoint told SCMagazineUK.com that “attribution of cyber-attacks is notoriously difficult. Cyber-criminals routinely route data through multiple countries and servers within countries, leave false ‘evidence' pointing to other groups, and generally attempt to conceal their tracks. It is unclear whether the recent postings claiming attribution are genuine, or deliberately misleading, or simply an entirely different group or individual leveraging the recent publicity.”