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Iranian hackers focused Boston Youngsters’s Sanatorium in 2021

WASHINGTON D.C.: FBI Director Christopher Wray said that hackers sponsored by the Iranian government attempted a “despicable” cyber attack against Boston Children’s Hospital last year, which threatened to disrupt health care services to patients.

In a speech delivered at a conference hosted by Boston College, Wray also warned about the threat of cyber attacks sponsored by governments such as Iran, Russia and China, against U.S. companies and infrastructure.

“We got a report from one of our intelligence partners indicating Boston Children’s was about to be targeted, and understanding the urgency of the situation, the cyber squad in our Boston field office raced out to notify the hospital,” he said.

Wray explained that the FBI contacted the hospital in August 2021, which enabled it to “stop the danger right away” and end the threat.

“Quick actions by everyone involved, especially at the hospital, protected both the network and the sick kids that depend on it,” he added.

In March, Wray said that Iranian-sponsored hackers compromised an unnamed children’s hospital in June 2021.

In a statement, Boston Children’s Hospital confirmed that the FBI and its staff had “proactively thwarted the threat to our network.”

According to Wray, the incident, “one of the most despicable cyberattacks I have ever seen,” is an example of the increasing risks faced by hospitals and other critical infrastructure from hackers, including state-sponsored attacks.

“If malicious cyber actors are going to purposefully cause destruction, or hold data and systems for ransom, they tend to hit us somewhere that’s really going to hurt,” he said.

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