Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Texas
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, April 14, 2023
HOUSTON – Executives and leaders of the Texas Medical Center (TMC) have learned about the dangers of cyberattacks by malicious actors like China, Russia and transnational criminals and how to tackle those attacks, announced U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office (USAO) along with FBI, Homeland Security Investigations, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and the Food and Drug Administration provided the training which included essential tools and protocols for TMC attendees to follow if their facilities are subject to cyber intrusions.
Methodist Hospital hosted the training event with attendees from Memorial Herman Hospital, Texas Children’s Hospital, MD Anderson, Baylor College of Medicine and the University of Texas Health System.
Criminal organizations and nation state actors like China, Russia and Iran as well as other bad actors have become more sophisticated in their ability to launch cyber-attacks against critical infrastructure such as the health care facilities in the TMC.
“It is essential to national security and crucial to the safety of patients for federal law enforcement to work closely with the health care sector to develop resilient and adaptive defenses against malicious cyberspace activity and network intrusions,” said Hamdani. “The USAO will continue to seek opportunities to enhance collaboration with our law enforcement partners and the health care industry to prevent potential network intrusions and ensure greater unity of effort in response to cyber incidents.”
On a weekly basis, hundreds of cyberattacks occur on businesses all across the Southern District of Texas. There must be a quick response team in place to immediately address the intrusion in order to circumvent major damage and losses. The USAO routinely works with other prosecutors and law enforcement in the district to stay ahead of potential cyber threats.
As the global economy enters another year of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and China continues to seek to disrupt critical industries like the health care sector, the private industry must be reminded to be diligent about their networks and to know their response plans, have a paper copy available and review their cyber-related insurance policies.
The USAO has established contact lines for assistance 24 hours a day. If you have fallen victim to an intrusion, inadvertently diverted funds to an unknown third-party or suffered a ransomware attack, please email directly or call the hotline at 713-542-5213.
USAO - Texas, Southern