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This is how hackers profit from your stolen health data

By Kenny Yeo - on 10 Jun 2019, 11:13am

This is how hackers profit from your stolen health data

If a hacker has your credit card number, he or she could use it to make purchases on your dime. What's not so obvious, however, is the value of your stolen medical data. After all, what good is it to a hacker if he or she knows what ailments you have or what surgeries you have completed?

A recent report has revealed that the truth is more sinister. Unlike other personal data like your phone and credit card numbers, and emails, which can be easily changed, your health data/history is immutable.

If you had nose surgery in your youth, that's set in stone. Likewise, if you have a condition such as diabetes, asthma, or a slipped disc.

Using this data, hackers can fake prescriptions and use it to buy drugs or use this information to get prescription drugs through airport security and customs. Stolen health insurance information could even be used to make fake claims on your insurance to gain payouts.

Worst all, stolen health information can be used together with stolen or forged licenses to allow somebody to pose as a medical professional. The endgame for these individuals is to profit from claims to insurances for costly surgeries.

This also explains why hackers targeted SingHealth last year in what was Singapore's worst cyber attack ever, with over 1.5 million patient information stolen including that of our Prime Minister.

Unsurprisingly then, the report also revealed that 83% of surveyed healthcare organizations said that they have seen an increase in cyber attacks over the past year.

Furthermore, two-thirds of these organizations have also said that these attacks have become increasingly sophisticated.

The value of your health data might be as patently obvious as say your credit card number, but their immutability and the ways they can be used means they are just as, if not more valuable.

Source:   ZDNet, Carbon Black

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