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Iranian backed hackers tried to attack Boston Children’s Hospital, according to FBI Director Wray

FBI Director Christopher Wray delivers the keynote address during the 2020 Boston Conference on Cyber Security at Boston College on March 4, 2020, in Boston. (Angela Rowlings/Boston Herald/TNS)

Iranian government backed hackers attempted a cyberattack against Boston Children’s Hospital in August of 2021 which could have disrupted health care services, FBI Director Christopher Wray said Wednesday.

“In the summer of 2021 hackers sponsored by the Iranian government tired to conduct one of the most reprehensible cyberattacks I’ve every seen – right here in Boston – when they decided to go against Boston Children’s Hospital,” Wray said.

According to the director, the FBI contacted the hospital on August 10 of last year to advise them an attack by Iranian hackers was imminent.

“Over the next 10 days the Boston Division coordinated and met with representatives from Boston Children’s hospital on at least seven occasions to provide support to Boston Children’s Hospital and address any concern with the (advanced persistent threat) actors’ activity,” the FBI said in a release.

An advanced persistent threat is one which sits on a computer network, sometimes for years, before finally activating and providing bad actors access to systems.

“ATP actors have historically exploited critical vulnerabilities to conduct distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, ransomware attacks, structured query language (SQL) injection attacks, spear phishing campaigns, website defacements, and disinformation campaigns,” the FBI said in a release.

Wray highlighted the attack and the FBI’s partnership Wednesday at Boston College, where he was the keynote speaker during their annual conference on cybersecurity.

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