Monday, September 15, 2014

Fake Insurance Claims, Drugs, and SS Numbers make Medical Records a Key Target for Hackers

The latest threat of identity theft might not come from retail stores or big banks, but your doctor’s office or local hospital.
Criminals are stealing patient records to file fake insurance claims, obtain prescription medication, or sell Social Security numbers. Just this summer, Chinese hackers seized the personal information of 4.5 million patients at a Tennessee-based hospital network. And federal officials disclosed Thursday that an intruder managed to install malicious software on, the government’s health insurance marketplace.
These and other recent incidents reveal the growing market for patient data and perilous gaps within the health care industry
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center’s Dr. John D. Halamka,
shown amid rows of servers in the hospital’s data center, is
cochair of a federal IT group that advises the government
“It’s a war we’re in,” said John Halamka, the chief information officer of Boston-based Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and cochair of the Health IT Standards Committee, a federal group that advises the government. “Hackers innovate and find new ways to get in and those who store data innovate and find new ways to keep them out. We’re leapfrogging back and forth.”
alamka considered this summer’s attack on the hospital operator, Community Health Systems, one of the most sophisticated he’s seen and an example of the increasingly clever methods of cyber criminals.
Demand for health records is high. The FBI estimates one goes for $50 on the black market, much more than the few dollars often required for credit card numbers. Ponemon Institute, a research center that examines data protections, says breaches cost the industry up to $5.6 billion a year.
Stolen health care data can lead not only to financial loss but also to inaccurate medical records and, thus, misdiagnosis.
Read the rest of the story HERE.

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