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Have criminals stolen your medical data? Health hacks on the rise

21-08-2016 17:57:17

It looks like a tiny terraced cottage but it hides an incredible secret.

The company's 2016 Cyber Security Intelligence Index (downloadable from here) said that healthcare was the most attacked sector in 2015, overtaking banking. Private clinics, hospitals and health insurance companies are all being targeted.

Shocking statistics in the report highlight the growing threat. Five of the eight largest   healthcare security breaches this decade took place during the first six months of 2015.

Overall hackers stole 100 million medical records in 2015, IBM said, adding that the data fetches "a high price" on the black market. 
Criminals looking to carry out fraud will pay for personal information as such as credit card data, email addresses, employment information and medical history records. 
Armed with this kind of data, criminals can launch devastating spear-fishing attacks on individuals. 
One security expert said that healthcare companies and organisations are struggling to cope with the increased threat. Luther Martin, a distinguished technologist ay Hewlett Packard (HP), said that the "gold mine" of medical data is "often unprotected", and called on the health industry to improve its security so it matches standards set by banking and retail. 
IBM's report, released in late April, was followed a few days later  by another claiming that healthcare organisations ru unsupported and unsafe software, including Windows XP and Flash, on their computers. 
Researchers in US company Duo Security said three percent of its business clients in the health industry still run XP. This figure, while not large, is much higher than in the banking industry. 
The risk hospitals face by running old operating systems was underlined in January when XP computers in the Royal Melbourne Hospital's pathology department were hacked by the Qbot malware.