Hospital tech targeted by hackers

A new security survey has highlighted how cyber-attackers are continuing to target the healthcare industry, leading to a rise in the number of successful attacks against hospital networks.

The report by security firm TrapX explains how attackers have evolved and are now increasingly targeting medical devices that use legacy operating systems that contain known vulnerabilities. By camouflaging old malware with new techniques, the attackers are able to successfully bypass traditional security mechanisms to gain entry into hospital networks and ultimately to access sensitive data.

Healthcare is now the most frequently attacked industry according to the report, beating financial services, retail and other industries. As a result, it has been very difficult for healthcare organisations to keep pace with the number and sophistication of attacks they have to deal with.

The report – MEDJACK.2 – is based on first-hand research gathered from medical hijack attacks documented by medical organisations that have deployed the TrapX security solution. The report details threat data and analysis in three new hospital case studies that chronicle the sophisticated evolution of ongoing advanced persistent attacks detected between late 2015 and early 2016. These attacks, which target medical devices deployed within hospitals’ computer networks, contain a multitude of backdoor and botnet connections, giving remote access for attackers to launch their campaign.

“The onslaught of medical-device hijack attacks is accelerating, and it’s becoming increasingly more challenging for hospitals to detect and prevent them,” said Moshe Ben Simon, TrapX Security co-founder and vice president. “To mitigate these attacks going forward, TrapX recommends that hospital staff review budgets and cyber-defence initiatives at the organisational board level and consider bringing in technologies that can identify attacks within their networks, not just at the perimeter.

“In addition, the healthcare sector needs to implement strategies that review and remediate existing medical devices, better manage medical device end-of-life and carefully limit access to medical devices. It becomes essential to leverage technology and processes that can detect threats from within hospital networks.”

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