U.K. — What is the price of healthcare cyber-attacks?

Credit Card Theft by Don Hankins

From the SC Magazine UK news item:

The healthcare industry holds far more ‘risky’ and ‘valuable’ personal data opportunities than many other sectors. A new report from IDC has shown that healthcare data could be five, ten or even 50 times more valuable than other forms of data. The typical data found within our medical records ranges from not only names and birth dates, but insurance details, diagnosis codes and in the US, billing information. Just one way that fraudsters use this data is to create fake IDs to buy medical equipment or drugs that can be resold. Medical identity theft is often not immediately identified by a patient, giving criminals years to ‘milk’ such credentials – hence the assertion that medical data is more valuable than credit cards, which tend to be quickly cancelled once fraud is detected.

Cyber-attacks on healthcare are by no means a new phenomenon. In 2007 in the US people were worried that hackers might remotely stop the vice president’s heart. Today, hackers are putting an entire hospital full of patients at risk for a ransom of just £12,000.

Demands – from cash to Bitcoin

Ransomware works in a not dissimilar way to real life ransoms. The criminal kidnaps someone of great importance to you and then demands money before you can see the person again. A typical cyber-ransomware attack starts when a person opens an emailed link or attachment. Malicious code then locks the computer — or, worse, an entire network. Victims must pay the hackers for a “key” to unlock their machines. However, the ransom is not demanded in unmarked notes stuffed into a suitcase and left in a bin in an abandoned part of town. It’s demanded in Bitcoin…

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