Private Health Network Information Found on Data-Sharing Website

February 18, 2014 in News

Cybersecurity experts recently found a large collection of confidential medical data on 4shared.com, a no-cost file-sharing website commonly used by hackers, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The experts warn the information could be used to commit insurance fraud.

According to cybersecurity firm Norse, the networks of about 375 health-related institutions in the U.S. experienced security breaches at some point between September 2013 and October 2013. Those organizations include:

  • Hospitals and physician offices;
  • Pharmaceutical companies; and
  • Health plan managers.

Some of that data end up on sites such as 4shared.com, the Journal reports.

The files found on the file-sharing site included:

  • Details about computer network equipment types;
  • Internet addresses for various computers and other technological devices;
  • Passwords to health care providers’ network firewalls; and
  • Facility blueprints.

According to the Journal, that data could be used to access electronic health records and payment information.

Norse CEO Sam Glines said that medical records can go for approximately $60 on the black market and can be used to commit Medicare and prescription drug fraud.

SANS Institute corroborated on the findings and plans to release a report Wednesday about health network vulnerabilities (King, Wall Street Journal, 2/18).

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