November 8, 2022

Red Cross proposes digital symbol to deter hackers from healthcare facilities

By: Bridget Brown

Editor's Note

The International Committee of the Red Cross plans to create a digital symbol, similar to its distinctive red symbol, as a warning sign to hackers who attempt to break into hospital networks, The Wall Street Journal November 4 reports.

The Red Cross proposed three different options at a November 3 panel: a file on each of the hospital's devices, an emblem built into web domain names, and a code associated with the IP addresses of healthcare facilities. 

"It's simply a symbol of protection," noted Tilman Rodenhäuser, a legal adviser to the international committee at the panel discussion, adding that the symbol may not deter cyberattacks but can signal to hackers that their victim is a healthcare facility. The goal is that the symbol will make hackers aware that they would be violating international humanitarian law if a cyberattack was carried out.

This protection comes as health facilities across the nation are seeing more cyber-based threats. CommonSpirit Health hospitals were recently victim to a ransomware attack that forced its digital systems offline and postponed surgeries at its facilities. 



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