Fortunately, sabotage and patient data collection doesn’t appear to be a motive behind the hacking. The attackers were probably focused on corporate espionage and studying how the medical software onboard the computers worked, the security firm Symantec said on Monday.
Over the past three years, the hacking group Orangeworm has been secretly delivering the Windows-based malware to about 100 different organizations, said Jon DiMaggio, a security researcher at Symantec. The biggest number of victims, at 17 percent, have been based in the US.
The hackers have been particularly interested in legacy Windows XP systems, which can end up controlling new medical equipment including X-ray and MRI machines, he said. The malware used was capable of taking remote control over a computer, and spreading itself over a network.