Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Threat Intelligence

9/18/2019
11:00 AM
50%
50%

24.3M Unsecured Health Records Expose Patient Data, Images

Several hundred servers storing medical data are connected to the Internet without any protection for sensitive information and images.

More than 24 million data records, belonging to patients across 52 countries, were found freely accessible on hundreds of servers that lacked basic protection for the sensitive data they held.

From mid-July through early September 2019, researchers with Greenbone Networks analyzed about 2,300 medical image archiving systems connected to the public Internet. These Picture Archiving and Communications Systems (PACS) servers are typically used within the healthcare industry to store images from radiological procedures so physicians can review them. The protocol is known as DICOM, or Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine.

It's not new to learn PACS servers are unsecured, the researchers say. What's new here is the full extent of how widespread these security issues are: Of the 2,300 archive systems analyzed, 590 were found to be accessible to the public Internet. Combined, they hold 24.3 million data records belonging to patients around the world. The number of images linked to the data sets is estimated to be around 733.5 million, about 400 million of which could be accessed or downloaded.

The "vast majority" of records exposed included the patient's first and last name, birthdate, date of examination, scope of investigation, type of imaging procedure, attending physician, the institute or clinic, and number of images generated, the report states. Given the extent and sensitivity of personal data compromised, researchers warn of the potential for social engineering or business email compromise (BEC) attacks. They estimate the value of this data on the Dark Web could exceed $1 billion

Researchers found 31 systems that provided direct access to patient data through a DICOM Web Viewer. No authentication was required to access the data, and in most of these 31 systems, the information was transmitted in plaintext. They also identified more than 10,000 vulnerabilities on the systems, more than 2,000 of which were categorized as "high severity."

Read more details here.

Check out The Edge, Dark Reading's new section for features, threat data, and in-depth perspectives. Today's top story: "Poll Results: Maybe Not Burned Out, But Definitely 'Well Done'."

Dark Reading's Quick Hits delivers a brief synopsis and summary of the significance of breaking news events. For more information from the original source of the news item, please follow the link provided in this article. View Full Bio
 

Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Threaded  |  Newest First  |  Oldest First
Why Vulnerable Code Is Shipped Knowingly
Chris Eng, Chief Research Officer, Veracode,  11/30/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win an Amazon Gift Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: I think the boss is bing watching '70s TV shows again!
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you today!
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-5680
PUBLISHED: 2020-12-03
Improper input validation vulnerability in EC-CUBE versions from 3.0.5 to 3.0.18 allows a remote attacker to cause a denial-of-service (DoS) condition via unspecified vector.
CVE-2020-5638
PUBLISHED: 2020-12-03
Cross-site scripting vulnerability in desknet's NEO (desknet's NEO Small License V5.5 R1.5 and earlier, and desknet's NEO Enterprise License V5.5 R1.5 and earlier) allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary script via unspecified vectors.
CVE-2020-5676
PUBLISHED: 2020-12-03
GROWI v4.1.3 and earlier allow remote attackers to obtain information which is not allowed to access via unspecified vectors.
CVE-2020-5677
PUBLISHED: 2020-12-03
Reflected cross-site scripting vulnerability in GROWI v4.0.0 and earlier allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary script via unspecified vectors.
CVE-2020-5678
PUBLISHED: 2020-12-03
Stored cross-site scripting vulnerability in GROWI v3.8.1 and earlier allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary script via unspecified vectors.