FBI ‘Flash Alerts’ health organizations about hacker attacks (US)

click to enlargeLate yesterday Reuters reported that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) issued a ‘flash alert’ to healthcare organizations, warning they are being targeted by “…malicious actors targeting healthcare related systems, perhaps for the purpose of obtaining Protected Healthcare Information (PHI) and/or Personally Identifiable Information (PII),” and that “These actors have also been seen targeting multiple companies in the healthcare and medical device industry typically targeting valuable intellectual property, such as medical device and equipment development data.” These alerts are sent to businesses by the FBI and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to help prevent cyberattacks. This follows an April FBI alert warning healthcare companies that their security systems were lax compared to other sectors, making them highly vulnerable to hacker attacks. Our Monday report on the Community Health System attack on 4.5 million records at the the #2 US publicly traded hospital operator  noted that the China-originating raid compromised patient names, addresses, birth dates, telephone numbers and Social Security numbers. The Heartbleed bug was used to gain access through Juniper Networks’ equipment. Washington’s Politico tip sheet, in its Morning eHealth column, described legislators in high dudgeon on both sides of the aisle, as if stern legislation would magically enable stronger IT security. Just like Healthcare.gov? Additional summary in iHealthBeat.

 

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