Unknown numbers of people in North Texas should get ready for their personal data to be sold on the dark web tonight.
Experts in cyber security like Andrew Sternke and other threat analysts agree that the hospital made the right choice by refusing to pay the ransom.
The servers at Methodist McKinney Hospital and two of its neighbouring operation clinics were broken into by Russian hackers, who claim they would publish details on the data files they took.
“This group will release it out there on the dark web, basically selling the information,” said Sternke. “This group had just basically stolen information versus locking down the whole system with the ransomware attack.”
Invoices, contracts, accounting, prescription scans, patient cards, and financial papers including audits are among the 360 terabytes of material the Karakurt hackers claim to posses.
Brett Callow, a threat analyst, agreed. “I think it was absolutely the right call. Had the hospital paid, it had no guarantees that the data would have been deleted.”
Beyond a statement warning patients to watch out for fraud by “…reviewing your account statements, explanation of benefit forms, and monitoring your free credit reports for suspicious behaviour and to uncover inaccuracies,” Methodist McKinney has made no more comments.
Our most private information is trusted to hospitals.
However, according to security professionals, over 50 US hospitals have had their data stolen this year alone. Sternke said, “They absolutely need to do more. Most attacks like this are preventable; they occur because of security weaknesses.”
Patients and their family members we spoke with outside the hospital tell us off camera they’re concerned and monitoring their credit. Experts say at this point, there’s little more they can do.
- Russian hackers intend to publish McKinney hospital data they seized on the dark web
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