What's Better For Hackers? Now It's Medical Info

Who knew?  A new study says that medical data is more important to hackers than financial information. 

According to smartplanet.com, data-hungry criminals are finding that our medical info is as -- or even more -- valuable than our debit and credit card and social security numbers.

The Web site quotes SANS, analyst Barbara Filkins, who says that our medical identities can be just as, if not more, lucrative than our financial information.

I used to report on healthcare technology and it seemed every week there was a new data breach at a hospital. And we're not talking small rural ones in the middle of the country.  Brigham's Women's and Children. Kaiser Permanente.  Even Easter Seals, of all things.

The study reports that "94 percent of medical institutions said their organizations have been victims of a cyber attack . . .Once stolen, there are numerous ways such data can be exploited for financial gain."

You can thank the Internet, experts say.  We're all so connected -- through smart phones, laptops, even electronic medical records, not to mention connected devices ranging from radiology equipment to pharmacy dispensary robots.-- that it's almost impossible to believe your data won't be stolen, at some point.

"A fully compromised identity -- meaning I could walk in with credentials and get someone else's insurance to pay for my condition -- is worth a couple thousand dollars, versus pennies on the dollar for credit cards. The end game can be a lot more rewarding," Filkins tells smartplanet.com.

Between September 2012 and October 2013, SANS detected over 50,000 hacking attempts and 375 health organizations were compromised within the United States.


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