NEW YORK – A cyberattack that paralyzed the hospital chain MedStar this week is serving as a new reminder of susceptibilities that exist in systems that secure sensitive patient information.
That attack came a month after a Los Angeles hospital paid hackers $17,000 to regain control of its computer system and more than a year after intruders broke into a database containing the records of approximately 80 million persons maintained by the health insurer Anthem.
In Anthem’s case, only a single password stood between hackers with a stolen worker ID and a chance to plunder the Blue Cross-Blue Shield carrier’s database, in accordance to a federal lawsuit filed by customers over the breach.
Cybercriminals also have staged high-profile attacks in recent years against the federal government, retail chains and the adultery website Ashley Madison, among many other targets. But security professional say health care industries make especially inviting targets for a number of reasons.
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