Internet security experts as well as a recent research reports suggest that ransomware is headed for medical devices and wearable health tracking devices in 2016, posing a serious threat to information security and personal health, they warn.
A group of hackers believed to be based in China has stolen nonmedical patient data on 4.5 million patients stored in Community Health Systems’ (CHS) computer systems.
According to the Franklin, TN-based health system, medical and credit card records were not stolen, though patient names, addresses, birthdates, and phone and Social Security numbers were taken, the Associated Press reported. According to Modern Healthcare, CHS believes that hackers originally set out to steal the intellectual property on medical devices and other equipment but instead stole data on patients who sought care from its physician practices.
Hospital computer systems and equipment are becoming infected with malware that slow down operating software and present the risk of rendering systems temporarily inoperable, according to a panel of health IT experts cited in an MIT Technology Review article.