Not just a hospital problem: Malicious code tops cybersecurity threat list for government entities

Malicious code, like that which forms the backbone of ransomware viruses plaguing hospitals of late, is not just fear-inducing for healthcare administrators. According to cybersecurity records from the U.S. Federal Reserve, incidents involving malicious code plagued the agency more than any other type of threat between 2011 and 2015, Reuters reports

Documents obtained by Reuters through a Freedom of Information Act request reflect 81 incidents of outside actors attempting to access the Federal Reserve's data through means of malicious code. The records are likely only representative of a small portion of breach incidents, as the majority of banks and entities under the federal umbrella are not bound by FOIA requests, according to Reuters. However, data yielded from the requests included incidents of hacking attempts and espionage.

An anonymous former employee of the National Incident Response Team, which was involved in investigating more than 250 of the incident reports obtained, told Reuters that during their time on the team cybersecurity threat events occurred that sometimes required days upon days of nearly round-the-clock work to ward off.

Myriad reports put cybersecurity at top of mind for healthcare CIOs and CISOs, and this week the College of Healthcare Information Executivesannounced the creation of a cybersecurity center focused on sharing breach data intelligence with the community. Similarly to the HHS' "wall of shame," which gives details on breaches curated by the Office of Civil Rights, the redacted records received by Reuters did not include information on who was behind the hacks or whether information was ultimately compromised.

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