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Are our medical data at risk due to hacking?

The exhibition Protenus Barometer, showed that 2018 was leaking medical personal data from hacking attacks on 15 millions of patient records. What makes it even more alarming is the fact that the number of attacks is three times that of 2017.

In fact, hacking has turned into a lucrative profession, with good working hours, higher earnings and fewer risks or consequences compared to other illegal activities. You only need one vulnerability on one device to close the entire one network or in this case a hospital until ransom is paid.

In Minnesota, United States of America, hackers inspect the state of its systems infinitely many times a day. As a result, it has a large number of insurance companies, medical device manufacturers and provider networks that face daily threats cybersecurity.

The attacks in the health sector, they are mainly attacks targeting devices. For example, attacks on implanted heart devices are possible. There, a hacker can do so if he decides to tease the device by draining its battery. Accordingly, drug infusion systems and insulin pumps may be targeted. So there is no doubt about the risk of such a hacking attack.

Healthcare organizations are high value targets for hackers due to the enormous amount of personal information they store. Recently, the US Department of Health and Human Services and the healthcare company Anthem reached a $ 16 million deal following an attack Phishing which received and violated 78,8 million records.

So another way of cheating is through email. Such hacking attacks have increased significantly in the last two years and usually mislead the recipient by pointing the message at something that will get attention. Like, for example, 'Payment' or 'Urgent'.

Attacks are also common ransomware. 2017, a WannaCry ransomware attack, exploited existing vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows operating systems. In ransomware attacks, malware locks computers and requires ransom to unlock the system. Vulnerable targets may be for example magnetic resonance imaging devices and any device connected to the Internet.

Already two years after the attack WannaCry, 40% of healthcare organizations have fallen victim to such ransomware. Studies have shown that the overwhelming majority of healthcare providers worldwide use older operating systems Windows, which makes them more vulnerable to hacking attacks.



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