Hospitals’ servers around the world are infected with malware and expose personal data

by | December 16, 2020 | Cybersecurity News

45 million images of various medical scans were freely accessible online by anyone, with absolutely no protection, security company claims.

The security research company CybelAngel reported that besides leaving sensitive personal information unsecured, hospital servers are full of malware. The security is so bad, that the researchers could easily access private files without using any hacking tools.

Exposed data includes:

  • X-rays and CT scans
  • Personal identifiable information (name, birth date, address)
  • Personal health information (height, weight, diagnosis)

Hospitals use outdated protocols (the 1980s DICOM medical data transmission protocol) and unsecured NAS storage, making all data accessible and exposed to the public internet. Even if the DICOM protocol is quite old, it demans security protocols, but they’re only optional.

This Standard assumes that the Application Entities involved in a DICOM interchange are implementing appropriate security policies, including, but not limited to access control, audit trails, physical protection, maintaining the confidentiality and integrity of data, and mechanisms to identify users and their rights to access data. Essentially, each Application Entity must insure that their own local environment is secure before even attempting secure communications with other Application Entities.

Last year, Greenbone Networks previously discovered that the medical information of over 24 million people has been exposed online.

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Photo by Hush Naidoo Jade Photography on Unsplash

by Dan Florian

Product owner and co-founder of ATTACK Simulator. Dan likes to code, is passionate about design, and loves running and swimming.

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