FACT: The hackers attacked the computer systems of two hospitals in Czech Republic on Friday. The targeted medical centers in the cities of Ostrava and Olomouc, with 300,000 and 480,000 population respectively, are treating the patients with diseases caused by the Wuhan virus.
"A serious, technically equipped adversary” backed these attacks, stated a representative of the Czech Republic authorities.
It was not revealed what data or computer components have been focus of the cyber-attackers.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated that the United States will not tolerate attacks on critical infrastructure. "Everyone involved in this kind of activity will face consequences," Mr Pompeo emphasised.
BACKGROUND: Czech Republic's intelligence services, NUKIB, warned the day before against imminent, large-scale cyber-attacks on the Western hospitals.
"The information we have available has led us to a reasonable fear of a real threat of serious cyber-attacks on major targets in the Czech Republic, especially on healthcare systems," said NUKIB Director Karel Rehka.
The organisation also warned in short statement for the local media that the attack may affect other Western countries.
The warning comes as hackers ranging from cyber criminals to government-backed spies are targeting businesses, governments and healthcare organisations with attempts to steal sensitive information about the Wuhan virus outbreak.
Researchers who reviewed the samples stated the attacks used Wuhan virus-themed malware which would physically damage or destroy a victim's computer by corrupting its master boot record.
Unlike traditional cyber intrusions which focus on stealing information, destructive cyber-attacks can cause catastrophic damage by disabling hundreds or thousands of computers.