- April 9, 2019
- Posted by: admin
- Category: Uncategorized
Cyberattacks aren’t just going after your data
CYBERSECURITY PROBLEM-T patient lying on the emergency room table in front of Paul Pugsley was having a stroke. Time was running out. Pugsley, an emergency medicine resident at Maricopa Medical Center, knew he needed to send the patient for a CT scan.
But when Pugsley looked over at the computer screen at the side of the room, he saw a pop-up message demanding bitcoin payment. A few minutes later, he was told that the same message had shut down the scanner — he’d have to help the patient without knowing whether the stroke was caused by a bleed or a clot, information that’s usually vital to the course of treatment.
After a few minutes of frantic workarounds, the patient — actually a medical test dummy — was wheeled out the room (prognosis: survival, but serious brain damage). The flashing ransom note was part of a simulation, designed to expose physicians like Pugsley to the very real threat of cyberattacks on their hospitals.
Reports show that ransomware and other cyberattacks are on the rise — and health care is one of the biggest targets. Just this week, researchers in Israel announced that they’d created a computer virus capable of adding tumors into CT and MRI scans — malware designed to fool doctors into misdiagnosing high-profile patients, Kim Zetter reports for The Washington Post. Despite the rising threat, the vast majority of hospitals and physicians are unprepared to handle cybersecurity threats, even though they pose a major public health problem.
The health care industry increasingly relies on technology that’s connected to the internet: from patient records and lab results to radiology equipment and hospital elevators. That’s good for patient care, because it facilitates data integration, patient engagement, and clinical support. On the other hand, those technologies are often vulnerable to cyberattacks, which can siphon off patient data, hijack drug infusion devices to mine cryptocurrency, or shut down an entire hospital until a ransom is paid.
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Article Credit: The Verge
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