A hacker claims to be selling 655,000 alleged patient healthcare records on the dark web, containing information such as social security numbers, addresses, and insurance details.
The news was first reported by Deep Dot Web Saturday. A hacker who goes by the name ‘thedarkoverlord’ gave Deep Dot Web images of purported records. Identifiable information from the records was redacted “so the target company can remain anonymous for now,” the hacker told Deep Dot Web.
The databases are said to be from three different healthcare organizations and are being sold for between around $100,000 and $395,000, Deep Dot Web reports. One database originated in Farmington, Missouri, and contains 48,000 patient records, according to the report, while another from the Central/Midwest U.S contains 210,000 patient records. A third database from Georgia, U.S., has records on 397,000 patients.
In an encrypted conversation, the hacker told Deep Dot Web that the records were accessed using an exploit for Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) that gives remote access to devices. A one-off copy of each database is reportedly being sold on TheRealDeal, a shadowy dark web marketplace that provides anonymity to buyers and sellers.
The dark web, or darknet, refers to private networks built from connections between trusted peers using unconventional protocols. Dark Web is just one part of what is known as deep web – a vast network which is not indexed by search engines such as Google and Bing.
While the authenticity of the healthcare data dump is unclear, website Motherboard received a sample of just under 30 records from the alleged Georgia hack. Motherboard reports that most of the phone numbers went through to the correct person or family home. One person also confirmed the rest of their details, although the physical address was out of date, it added.
Alleged social security numbers, full names, physical addresses, dates of birth and insurance information are included in the dump.
Healthcare is an increasingly attractive target for cybercriminals. In February a Los Angeles hospital paid nearly $17,000 in Bitcoin to hackers who disabled its computer network.
"The healthcare industry has been especially targeted as of late, and what we see on the Dark Web is just what is being openly sold,” said Gadi Evron, CEO and co-founder of network security company Cymmetria, in a statement emailed to FoxNews.com. “The healthcare industry is taking the situation very seriously, but there is no doubt that hackers sense the potential gains and are now targeting them more than before.”
Last month a hacker was reportedly looking to sell a package containing account records for 167 million LinkedIn users on the dark web.
Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers