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In my previous blog post, Why Healthcare Organizations are Easy Targets for Cybercrime, I discussed various reasons that hospitals and healthcare organizations make desirable and lucrative targets for hackers. In this second installment, I’ll go over how criminals are attacking these organizations, the methods they use, and also what needs to be done to begin to address this dangerous threat.
Medical Device Compromise
As I mentioned in my first blog on this topic, there is a wide array of connected medical devices in a hospital environment. These devices can be classified into 5 broad categories:
- Consumer wearables, such as sleep pattern monitors, fitness trackers, etc.
- Patient monitoring devices, including insulin pumps, ECG, heart rate monitors etc.
- IVD, blood analyzers, etc.
- Embedded devices, such as pacemakers and implants
- In-house equipment, like medicine dispensing systems, MRI, CT, and X-ray machines, etc.
Devices like these can he hacked in an alarming number of ways. In addition to attacks that could endanger patients’ lives, such as remotely tampering with pacemakers or insulin pumps, these devices may be exploited to enable data theft or to gain access to other hospital infrastructure or systems. In one example from 2017, penetration tester Saurabh Harit managed to compromise a digital pen used for writing prescriptions, which gave him access to a patient database and scans of each prescription.
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Medical data is a valuable commodity that is openly traded on the dark web. Although hackers and automated malware are often to blame, old-fashioned user error can play a major role in these types of compromises. Phishing remains a preferred method for stealing data and infiltrating networks.
Some examples of stolen medical data include:
- Patient data. Identity and insurance fraud are relatively easy when you have access to the kinds of data medical organizations store about their patients. Additionally, this information can be used to charge expensive medical procedures, claim prescription drugs, or be exploited to breach other organizations outside of the healthcare industry. It can even be used for personal extortion and a host of other crimes.
- Administrative paperwork. Criminals may target medical licenses to forge prescriptions and commit other types of fraud or extortion.
- Prescription information. Criminals may forge prescriptions or drug labels and use them for purposes like fraud and even drug smuggling.
- Biometric data. As biometrics are increasingly used in security measures and law enforcement practices, records of fingerprints, ocular scans, and even heartbeats could be stolen and used for nefarious purposes.
Because the services that medical facilities provide are essential and often cannot be disrupted without serious risk to patients, ransomware is a weapon of choice. Many organizations have no choice but to pay the ransom, and some health facilities have had to shut down permanently due to these attacks.
Medical facilities worldwide have turned patients away, curtailed or suspended services, and even closed as a result of ransomware attacks. The groups that carry out these attacks have typically done recon on their targets to discover exactly how to breach them and which systems to encrypt to cause maximum disruption.
Of course, when we talk about ransomware affecting healthcare organizations, one attack stands out above them all: WannaCry. This nasty threat spread like wildfire across the world in 2017 and crippled many organizations through a combination of lateral wormlike propagation and machine-wrecking encryption. One of the largest and most publicized victims was the U.K.’s National Health Service. The attack “disrupted services across one-third of hospital trusts and around 8% of GP practices,” according to a report published by the NHS a year later. On top of that, ambulance services were affected and over 19,000 appointments were cancelled.
Despite the financial gains to be had when attacking healthcare organizations, WannaCry was actually an example of a cyber-weapon spreading far beyond its intended targets; the attack was not specifically aimed at the NHS or other health orgs affected.
Ultimately, WannaCry really highlighted the poor security practices prevalent in so many healthcare organizations. The NHS fell under a lot of scrutiny in the aftermath of the attack, particularly as Microsoft had issued a Windows® update that would have fixed the exploited vulnerability months before. Since then, the health service has undertaken a number of changes to shore up defenses.
According to a survey of industry Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) by Carbon Black, the state of cybersecurity in healthcare is somewhat bleak, if unsurprising.
- 83% of surveyed healthcare organizations said they’ve seen an increase in cyberattacks over the past year.
- Two-thirds (66%) of surveyed healthcare organizations said cyberattacks have become more sophisticated over the past year.
- With increased adoption of medical and IoT devices, the surface area for healthcare attacks is becoming even larger.
- Limited cybersecurity staffing and stagnant cybersecurity budgets in the industry further compound the issues.
Other reports by security companies Thales and Fortinet paint a similar picture. A recent report in the HIPAA Journal puts data breaches at record levels in 2019.
What Needs to Happen
Healthcare’s poor track record when it comes to updates, patching and obsolete operating systems needs to be addressed—no question. Below are some of the other things that need to happen to improve security all around at hospitals and other healthcare practices.
- All staff members should be trained on security risks and best practices to avoid them.
- Medical device designers need to adopt security as a design principle ASAP.
- Hospitals and other facilities need to better audit and patch their devices, operating systems, applications, firmware, etc. to help eliminate vulnerabilities.
- Government initiatives and coordination are essential, not just for the public facilities they run but also for private practices.
- All healthcare practices should have antivirus and other cybersecurity solutions and should have access to security teams who can investigate any breaches to identify and address vulnerabilities.
- Access to devices, middleware, and APIs should be restricted where possible and secured.
And, finally, the “blame game” culture that pervades healthcare needs to be seen for what it really is: an obstacle to progress. Cybersecurity is a group effort that we should all share. From governing bodies to businesses to individual users, each of us has a role to play in creating a more secure connected world.
The post Healthcare Cyber Threats That Should Keep You up at Night appeared first on Webroot Blog.
Metrics — or perhaps more accurately, the right metrics — are crucial for understanding what’s really happening in your AppSec program. They serve a dual purpose: They demonstrate your organization’s current state, and also show what progress it’s making in achieving its objectives.
We typically recommend our customers measure their compliance against their own internal AppSec policy, plus scan activity, flaw prevalence, and time to resolve.
Flaw rate is another metric you might want to consider tracking. Although this would be a secondary metric, unlike the primary ones listed above, flaw rate, which allows you to do a before-and-after flaw comparison for an application, provides insight into how your rate of security findings is improving over time. Veracode analytics allows you to create the flaw rate metric by using a formula and adding it to your chart in order to visualize the rate alongside any other data you are reporting – such as flaw rate per application, first scan vs most recent scan, or flaw rate per an application per severity of the finding.
Keep in mind that this metric, as with flaws per MB, can vary significantly based on the size of the codebase. A monolithic, legacy application is going to have a much different flaw rate (and flaw density as measured by flaws per MB) than a small, new microservice. The value lies in comparing an application’s initial flaw rate to the current flaw rate, or comparing the flaw rate for a team across several applications (again the initial flaw rate vs. the current). This allows users to get a handle on what is working – or not – for that team to help them close out security findings and reduce the number they are introducing in the first place. In this way, you could validate the impact of your AppSec eLearning or other trainings. I would caution against comparing flaw rate (again much like flaws per MB) between teams or between business units as this won’t directly provide much actionable insights beyond which one is doing better.
Note that this metric will not produce an accurate gauge of your program’s success. Since it is applicable only to static analysis, it doesn’t take all testing techniques into account. Policy compliance is ultimately the best metric for measuring and reporting on the overall progress of your program.
But you could use flaw rate as an additional data point, alongside the following metrics, when reporting on the effectiveness or progress of your AppSec program:
Policy compliance: Your application security policy should stem from an analysis of your entire application inventory. From there, you assign groups of applications different risk categories or ratings by asking questions such as:
- Do these applications touch PII?
- Are they Internet-facing?
- What would be the impact of a compromise to this system (i.e., are they business critical)?
Based on those answers, you can determine which scan frequency and testing types are required, as well as which types or severities of flaws to disallow: an Internet-facing application that contains PII will have a different risk categorization from an internal chat service and thus should be held to a different standard for security.
Additionally, this risk rating will determine frequency of scanning requirements. Low-risk functionality that is rarely updated does not need to be scanned every week, but that Internet-facing/PII app may require a scan for every commit.
Average time to resolve: Many application testing solutions focus on scan activity rather than addressing results. While apps need to be scanned, fixing those security findings in a timely manner is a better mechanism for evaluating your application security program. Time to resolve provides visibility into how many days it takes for a finding to be closed after it is first discovered, helping security teams better understand where there may be bottlenecks in the development and security process.
Flaw prevalence: This metric spotlights how common a risk is within a particular industry or business. It helps an organization prioritize threats such as SQL injection, Cross-Site Scripting (XSS), cryptographic issues, and CRLF injection based on real-world impact.
Learn more about flaw rate
For detailed instructions on measuring flaw rate, please see this article in the Veracode Community.
Why you should know about hacking and information security? What is the language that hackers use? What is ethical hacking and how is it different? What are the types of threats and attacks you can launch against others or be the victim of?
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If you want start hacking you must know that there are three types of hackers.
who are White Hats,
The White Hat hacker has dedicated himself to fight malware and help others with their computer problems. He is a person you can trust, and he will most likely end up in a good paying job as a computer programmer or a security consultant. He will most certainly not end up in jail.
The Grey Hat hacker are in between white Hats and Black Hats. He will most likely commit pranks at people that he thinks is harmless, but it can also be illegal. He can at one time be helpful and help you with a computer problem, but at the same time infect you with his own virus. There is a chance that the grey hat will end up in prison.
The Black hat hacker also known as a cracker is the one who deface websites, steal private information and such illegal activity. It is very time consuming to become a black hat. It can be very hard for them to get a job because of the illegal activity. If law enforcements gets you, you can expect jail time.
So where to start?
You should know the answer to these questions before you start your hacking career.
Which type of hacker do you want to be white hat, grey hat or black hat? ,
Which type of hacking do you want to work with website hacking, system exploits, pentesting.
You should meet these requirements to become a successful hacker.
first, You shall be patient.
secondly,You shall dedicate a lot of time to hacking. You will never stop learning, since hacking is a lifestyle.
thirdly, You should have a computer and finallyYou shall be interested in how the different computer systems works, and how to control them.
All good hackers know many language of programing. So if you want be hacker you should Learn the language of programing. You can start learn Pythong. Python is a good language to start off with because it’s cleanly designed, well documented, and relatively kind to beginners. Despite being a good first language, it is not just a toy? it is very powerful, flexible, and well-suited for large projects. Java is an alternative, but its value as a first programming language has been questioned. If you get into serious programming, you will have to learn C, the core language of Unix. C++ is very closely related to C; if you know one, learning the other will not be difficult. C is very efficient with your machine’s resources, but will soak up huge amounts of your time on debugging and is often avoided for that reason, unless the efficiency of your computer is especially important.
you should have Networking Skills, you need to understand the basics of networking, such as the following.
Public v Private IP,
Routers and switches,
Many good hackers have Linux Skills.
It is extremely critical to develop Linux skills to become a hacker. Nearly all the tools we use as a hacker are developed for Linux and Linux gives us capabilities that we don’t have using Windows.
If you need to improve your Linux skills, or you’re just getting started with Linux, check out my Linux series for beginners below.
Without scripting skills, the hacker will be relegated to using other hackers’ tools. This limits your effectiveness. Every day a new tool is in existence loses effectiveness as security admins come up with defenses.
To develop your own unique tools, you will need to become proficient at least in one of the scripting languages including the BASH shell. These should include one of Perl, Python, or Ruby.
You will need have Database Skills.
If you want to be able to proficiently hack databases, you will need to understand databases and how they work. This includes the SQL language. I would also recommend the mastery of one of the major DBMS’s such SQL Server, Oracle, or MySQL.
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