As more healthcare organizations are discovering to their woe, having direct access to patients' personal health information puts a giant target on their backs for cyber thieves that traffic in stolen medical records. Medical data breaches are increasing in frequency and scope, with millions of Americans now victims of medical identity theft. Who are the criminals behind this digital era crime wave?
IBM research shows that the vast majority of cybercrime is highly organized and generating unprecedented profits, noting that the largest bank heist in history was $30 million compared to the annual $445 billion cost of cybercrime. Solo cybercriminals are also out there, however. Trend Micro observes that these different classes of criminals also dwell in different forums, with petty thieves showing up in more easily accessed sites, and organized cyber thieves residing in closed forums of their own.
A foray into the online black market for stolen data — and other goods — is a surreal experience. With names like "DamageLab" and "Hell," many forums have the same features of legitimate online shopping sites, from "buy now" buttons to, in an ironic twist, rating systems that score a dealer's trustworthiness. The product descriptions, on the other hand, make it quickly apparent that the wares for sale are anything but legit. A recent NPR report described a dealer with exceptionally high marks who had a "value pack" of 10 stolen Medicare numbers for sale. The total pack could be had at a cost of 22 bitcoin (the preferred currency of many cyber criminals), which works out to about $4,700. Read more at Healthcare IT News....
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