Why hackers target pediatric health records

Stoddard Manikin, chief information security officer at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, said hackers are targeting children's hospitals to use data from pediatric health records to apply for loans, BankInfoSecurity reported Nov. 15. 

Hackers are targeting pediatric health records in order to carry out fake loan applications, and the hits to the patients' credit may go undetected until the victims are adults, according to Mr. Manikin. Adults' health records, on the other hand, are targeted and used for insurance or prescription fraud. 

Mr. Manikin also said hackers are increasingly targeting research data, so nation-states can pass off the results as their own work. These kinds of breaches are usually financially motivated, and they are more difficult to detect and determine who is responsible, he said. 

These kinds of attacks, including ransomware, are becoming an increasing threat to hospital and health systems' cybersecurity posture. 

"Ransomware attacks against the U.S. healthcare industry are up tremendously in the last few years. And unfortunately, we see a lot of our peer organizations impacted on a weekly basis," said Mr. Manikin. "When you get into hospital systems — some of which are a couple of hospitals, some of which are dozens or even hundreds — then they have no choice but to recover at great expense and great impact."

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