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FBI Warns Health Care Sector Is Especially Vulnerable to Cyberattacks

The agency says health care providers have particularly lax security systems. Reportedly, health care data sold on the black market can be even more valuable than credit-card numbers because it can help hackers access bank accounts or get prescription drugs

In a private message sent to health care providers earlier this month, the FBI warned that the health care industry has especially lax data-security systems and is particularly vulnerable to cyberattacks compared with other sectors.

“The healthcare industry is not as resilient to cyber intrusions compared to the financial and retail sectors, therefore the possibility of increased cyber intrusions is likely,” the FBI said in a memo obtained by Reuters.

According to the news service, health care data sold on the black market can be even more valuable than credit-card numbers because it includes information that can help with hacking into bank accounts or getting prescription drugs.

An FBI spokesperson declined to comment on the matter to Reuters.

A spate of recent cybersecurity failures at major retail institutions, most notably Target, have inspired the retail and financial sectors to shore up security. The health sector, however, has been slower to adopt sufficient cybersecurity measures.

“I’m really happy to see the FBI doing this,” said Shane Shook, an executive with a private cybersecurity firm that contracts with organizations to help them respond when their systems are breached. “It’s nice to see the attention.”


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