The Vice Society ransomware group launched an attack on The Medical University of Innsbruck, which resulted in a significant interruption to IT services and potential data theft. The university has 2,200 employees and 3,400 students and provides a wide range of medical services, including surgeries. On June 20, 2022, the university announced an IT outage that limited web servers and computer systems access. The university’s IT department reset the passwords for all students’ and workers’ accounts on June 21, 2022, and then advised everyone to change credentials. The university eventually restarted its online services in the days that followed, as well as its main website, which had been initially taken offline. The university’s official status updates have simply stated that they were attacked without further detail. “We ask for your understanding that we are currently unable to provide any further information on this. We fully support the authorities in their investigations,” commented the Medical University of Innsbruck’s spokesperson to Bleeping Computer.
The Medical University of Innsbruck was added to Vice Society’s data leak site yesterday, which also released a lengthy list of documents allegedly taken in last week’s cyberattack. The leaked data appear authentic, including the university’s letterhead, instructor signatures, and other validity indicators, according to limited data analysis. If the alleged ransomware attack did occur, the fact that Vice Society released all of the material, not just a sample, one week after the attack may indicate that negotiations for a ransom payment have failed. Also, it is possible to conclude that there is no data extortion being attempted: typically, Vice Society starts a countdown timer to extort a newly declared victim before releasing files.
Vice Society has recently targeted organizations in Europe, concentrating on state organizations and educational institutions. The ransomware gang caused havoc at the beginning of the month in the Italian city of Palermo, denying 1.3 million people access to a wide range of municipal services. A hospital in Italy, two universities, and a college in the United Kingdom are among the most recent victims named on the Vice Society’s website. The Medical University of Innsbruck is the fifth publicly acknowledged victim of Vice Society in Europe over the past month.