operators have hacked yet another IT vendor serving hundreds of dentistry
practices, infecting clients’ computers by exploiting a vulnerable remote
access tool. The gang wielding the infamous ransomware strain is not new to
attacking a service provider with hundreds of dental practices as clients.
Technology Solutions (CTS) mainly offers managed IT services and VoIP phone
services, and has hundreds of customers in the healthcare sector. Unfortunately
for the clients, a cyber-attack on CTS in the morning of November 25 also meant
that the clients themselves were infected.
reporter Brian Krebs has been in touch with some of the offices hit by the
potent ransomware strain and has learned that more than 100 CTS clients are affected.
clients are not opting for CTS’s other two important offerings – data backup &
recovery and network security – as many are struggling to recover from the
infection on their own, while also turning patients away.
lies partially with the dental industry’s security hygiene, described as
‘atrocious’ by the very CEO of one of the affected practices. However, CTS itself is primarily responsible
for the breach. According to an industry expert interviewed by Krebs, the
attackers made their way onto the victims’ computers via a remote administration
tool used by CTS to configure and troubleshoot systems and client dental
offices. “This functionality did not require additional authentication on the
part of the client before that connection could be established,” according to
the company did not require a unique one-time-code to establish a remote
connection to a client’s endpoint. This means CTS admins, and clients, were
favoring convenience over security. The actual vulnerability that led to the
attacker’s entry into CTS’s software was not disclosed.
attackers reportedly demanded a $700,000 ransom from CTS before proceeding to
extort individual dental offices to try and squeeze even more profit from the
As mentioned earlier, Sodinokibi (also known as rEvil) is the ransomware strain used in the attack on IT vendor PercSoft earlier this year. It’s unclear whether the same gang was involved in both attacks. However, in an almost identical scenario, PercSoft ended up infecting hundreds of its clients after its own systems were hacked. Those clients, also medical practices, counted no less than 400 individual offices.