Criminal hackers are targeting health care organizations on the dark web and using the credentials of real physicians to perpetrate fraud and rake in money.
According to a new report from cybersecurity firm Carbon Black, a whopping 83 percent of health care firms have seen increased attacks on their networks, and two-thirds of organizations surveyed said they've been targeted by ransomware attacks.
These types of attacks are on the rise across the country and they're becoming more sophisticated, according to security experts.
“A hacker compromises the corporate network of a health care provider to find administrative paperwork that would support a forged doctor’s identity. The hacker then sells to a buyer or intermediary (who then sells to the buyer) for a high enough price to ensure a return on investment, but low enough to ensure multiple people buy the item,” the report states.
Online criminals can use the stolen identities of doctors to submit fraudulent insurance claims for high-cost treatments, including surgeries, the report states.
"Cyberattackers now have the ability to access, steal and sell patient information on the dark web. Beyond that, they have the ability to shut down a hospital’s access to critical systems and patient records, making effective patient care virtually impossible," the researchers said in the report.
In May, Baltimore's computer network was crippled by a ransomware attack that impacted a range of service's used by the city's residents.