Hacking and Malware Incidents in Healthcare Increased According to Beazley Report


The most recent Beazley Breach Insights Report states that healthcare is the industry sector most hit by breach incidents. About 41% of all breach reports received by Beazley Breach Response (BBR) Services were from the healthcare industry.

Throughout all industry sectors, the following statistics show the causes of the breaches:

#1 hacking and malware attacks caused 47% of all breaches
#2 accidental disclosures of sensitive data caused 20% of all breaches
#3 insider breaches caused 8% of all breaches
#4 portable device loss/theft caused 6% of all breaches
$5 loss of physical records caused 5% of all breaches

Incidents of hacking/malware attacks increased considerably since 2017. BBR attributes the high number of incidents to the 133% increase in BEC or business email compromise attacks. Incidents of accidental disclosure dropped throughout all industries while insider breaches stayed at the same level as in 2017.

Though hacking/malware incidents were the major reason for breaches in other industries, in healthcare they were on the same level with accidental disclosures of protected health information (PHI), each causing 31% of all reported breaches.

Insider data breaches were considerably higher compared to other industries with 17% of all reported healthcare breaches. 8% of healthcare data breaches reported were due to the loss of physical documents, 6% were due to loss of portable devices, and 3% were caused by social engineering attacks. 4% of breaches had no category.

There was a 55% increase in hacking/malware incidents in 2018 while accidental disclosures dropped by about 28%. Just like other industries, the BEC attacks in healthcare had a big increase.

The February report highlighted the threat of BEC attacks. BEC attacks involve the use of compromised company email account to carry out phishing or social engineering attacks on other company employees or business contacts. These attacks are usually done with the purpose of acquiring sensitive data like W2 Form details or fooling employees into doing bogus wire transfers.

Beazley also highlighted the growing sextortion scams. This type of scam involves sending emails to employees claiming the installation of malware on their work computer with a recorded footage of them accessing adult websites while at work. The hacker threatens the employee to send to his contacts a video containing webcam cllips spliced with screen capture of websites being viewed at the time.

The scammers’ intention is to extort money and install malware. They send zip file attachments to emails stating the inclusion of a copy of the video. Opening of the attachment prompts the download of the GandCrab ransomware and information stealers.

According to Beazley reports, the sextortion cases usually contained empty threats, though a number of clients suffered malware infections because of opening file attachments.