FBI warns of hacker threat
The FBI has warned healthcare industry companies that they are being targeted by hackers, following a successful attack on Community Health Systems in Franklin, TN, that resulted in the theft of millions of patient records.
"The FBI has observed malicious actors targeting healthcare related systems, perhaps for the purpose of obtaining Protected Healthcare Information (PHI) and/or Personally Identifiable Information (PII)," the agency said in a Flash alert sent to hospitals and other providers. "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," the alert said.
The FBI and Department of Homeland Security periodically release alerts to provide United States businesses with technical details and other information they can use to either prevent or identify cyber attacks. The reports are typically only issued to businesses and not distributed to the general public.
This alert was the second recent one for healthcare providers. In April 2014, they warned the industry that its systems were lax compared with other sectors, which makes it vulnerable to hackers looking to access bank accounts or obtain prescriptions.