Tuesday, June 6, 2023
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FBI warns of criminals attacking healthcare fee processors

Tens of millions of {dollars} have been stolen from healthcare firms after fraudsters gained entry to buyer accounts and redirected funds.

In a newly-published advisory directed on the healthcare fee trade, the FBI warns that cybercriminals are utilizing a cocktail of publicly-available Personally Identifiable Data (PII) and social engineering strategies to impersonate victims and procure entry to recordsdata, healthcare portals, fee data, and web sites.

With compromised login credentials for healthcare fee processors exploited, the criminals divert funds to financial institution accounts below their very own management.

Because the FBI describes, in February 2022 a malicious hacker who managed to acquire entry to accounts at a significant healthcare firm managed to vary direct deposit banking data from a hospital to that of the prison’s personal checking account, leading to a lack of $3.1 million loss. In the identical month, a unique cybercriminal used the identical technique to steal roughly $700,000 in a separate incident.

Then two months later, a healthcare firm with over 175 medical suppliers found {that a} cybercriminal posing as an worker had modified fee directions to direct funds, efficiently stealing $840,000 in two transactions earlier than being found.

And the risk is clearly not new. From June 2018 to January 2019, the FBI experiences, cybercriminals broke into no less than 65 healthcare fee processors throughout the USA and changed respectable buyer banking and phone data with accounts managed by the criminals. One sufferer reported shedding roughly $1.5 million because of this.

Inform-tale indicators {that a} healthcare organisation could also be being focused embody:

  • Focused phishing emails, specifically these concentrating on the monetary departments of healthcare fee processors.
  • Social engineering makes an attempt to acquire entry to inside recordsdata and fee portals.
  • Unwarranted modifications in electronic mail alternate server configuration and customized guidelines for particular accounts.
  • Requests for workers to reset each passwords and 2FA cellphone numbers inside a brief timeframe.
  • Workers reporting they’re locked out of fee processor accounts on account of failed password restoration makes an attempt.

The recommendation from the FBI for organisations which might be being focused can be acquainted to anybody who’s chargeable for defending firms exterior of the healthcare trade, however is value repeating:

  • Be certain that anti-virus and different safety software program is stored up to date and configured appropriately.
  • Test recurrently that your community safety is compliant with requirements and rules. Carry out vulnerability scans and penetration assessments to assist with this.
  • Prepare employees on how one can determine and report phishing and social engineering assaults. Think about choices to hamper the success fee of phishing assaults, corresponding to multi-factor authentication. Have workers report suspicious emails, modifications to electronic mail alternate server configurations, denied password restoration makes an attempt, and password resets inside a brief timeframe for investigation.
  • Advise employees to be cautious of showing delicate data (corresponding to login credentials) over the cellphone or by way of the net.
  • Write an incident response plan, in accordance with HIPAA privateness and safety guidelines.
  • Mitigate towards vulnerabilities which can be associated to third-party distributors, assessment and perceive distributors’ danger thresholds and what could represent a breach of service, and alert workers when a communication originates from exterior the organisation.
  • Put firm insurance policies in place which require that any modifications to present invoices, financial institution deposits, and phone data for interactions with third-party distributors, be correctly verified. Any direct request for account actions must be verified by the suitable, beforehand established channels earlier than a request is sanctioned.
  • Guarantee all passwords are robust, distinctive passphrases that aren’t reused wherever else.
  • Within the wake of any attainable system or community compromise, implement necessary passphrase modifications for all affected accounts.
  • Apply patches in a well timed style.


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