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Hackers Steal Data Of 4.5 Million US Hospital Patients 111

itwbennett (1594911) writes Community Health Systems said the attack occurred in April and June of this year, but it wasn't until July that it determined the theft had taken place. Working with a computer security company, it determined the attack was carried out by a group based in China that used 'highly sophisticated malware' to attack its systems. The hackers got away with patient names, addresses, birthdates, telephone numbers and Social Security numbers of the 4.5 million people who were referred to or received services from doctors affiliated with the company in the last five years. The stolen data did not include patient credit card, medical, or clinical information.
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Hackers Steal Data Of 4.5 Million US Hospital Patients

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  • by dutchwhizzman ( 817898 ) on Tuesday August 19, 2014 @01:25AM (#47701079)

    Disclosure: I'm a professional Penetration Tester

    We find plenty of this sort of setups at our customers. Customers set up VPNs, have a password policy and a virus scanner. They have firewalls and keep user policies restricted. Then we come and we trojan someone, or find a weak WiFi password or whatever we use to get a foothold inside their network all it takes is one little mistake and we're "in". Once we get there, we log keyboards, get password hashes from network or system memory and start to pivot all over the place. Usually, our software will trigger virus alerts, but staff doesn't react to those "in a timely fashion" and we get to keep going even though alarms are going off on several computers. We could cloak our malware and sometimes we do, but usually it's too much trouble and we get domain admin passwords within a few days and rule the network in such a way that admins wouldn't be able to get rid of us if we would rootkit and backdoor properly.

    It takes more than some policies and a VPN these days. You need IDS, proper procedures, layered security and skilled, motivated staff that knows how to deal with security incidents. You need properly trained and aware users that aren't afraid to admit they messed up and that have no problem reporting others doing wrong either. Don't trust on a single technical measure, but implement them all and make sure you test and train on a regular basis. Get a data classification policy and protect data according to that policy. That means that stuff like SSNs and anything that can be used for identity theft should get extra layers of protection and alerting implemented. If you don't do all this, a serious intruder will usually get what they want.

It is not for me to attempt to fathom the inscrutable workings of Providence. -- The Earl of Birkenhead