Data of 42 Million Americans on the Dark Web - Revealed Research
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Researchers from Jama Network studied 374 ransomware attacks and found interesting statistics. The attacks analyzed were conducted against U.S. hospitals, clinics, and healthcare delivery firms between 2016 and 2021.
Some stats your way These 374 ransomware attacks exposed the PHI of 42 million Americans, an 11x increase - from 1.3 million in 2016 to over 16.5 million in 2021.
During this period, the annual number of ransomware attacks surged to 91 from 43.
- Eighty-four ransomware attacks (22.5%) lacked details on PHI exposure since they did not appear in the HHS OCR database.
- Of the remaining, 54.3% were reported outside of the legislative reporting window of 60 days post-attack.
- For 15.8% of attacks, researchers discovered evidence that the threat actors had made some or all of the stolen PHI public on the dark web.
- Approximately 53% of all ransomware attacks impacted multiple facilities within the victim healthcare organizations. The most common operational disruptions included ambulance diversion, canceled surgeries and appointments, and electronic system downtime.
Prominent ransomware from 2022
The HC3 warned against the Venus ransomware, in November, targeting U.S. healthcare organizations. The gang’s initial ransom demand starts around 1 Bitcoin or less than $20,000. In October, the FBI, the CISA, and the HHS published a joint advisory about the new Daixin Team ransomware group that had been targeting healthcare entities since June.
The bottom line Ransomware attacks against the healthcare sector have increasingly risen in sophistication and frequency, as the findings reveal. These attacks disrupted healthcare delivery and compromised the PHI of millions of patients. Therefore, it is imperative that the sector implements stringent cybersecurity measures to protect its sensitive data and patients from being abused by threat actors.