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Hackers are now after your healthcare data — IBM

As users become more cautious, hackers are changing their attack paterns

SOCHI, September 30. /TASS/. Hacker behavior and targets are changing and becoming more and more creative, IBM Security Vice President Bob Kalka told TASS in an exclusive interview on the sidelines of the Sochi International Investment Forum.

Medical records are now widely targeted, Kalka said.

"Financial data has traditionally been an area where hackers would attack first. There’s now been an explosion of hacking healthcare data. Because if you look at the nature of advanced threats today, they usually would start with is a kind of ‘phishing’ attack, where someone clicks on a link that they weren’t supposed to, and so there’s a sort of psychological art of how to get people to click on something they don’t recognize," Kalka said.

The reason is users have become more cautious, so hackers have had to take it to a new level.

"What the hackers have discovered is, ‘if I steal healthcare information on you, then I know things about you that nobody else could know. So then I send a note, where instead of saying "hi, I’m John from Nigeria, and I’ve had a 2 billion-dollar windfall", you’re not going to click on that anymore. But if I get an email which says "this is Dr. Jones and you went in to see me three weeks ago, we’ve found some additional things, click here to get the details," you’re going to click it," he said.

Another trend, Kalka added, is that now hackers are sharing the breaches with interested parties and not so much doing the damage themselves, to then ‘lease’ the space.

"You break into a company and you advertise on the Dark Web "hey, for two hours, it will cost you X amount of bitcoins to come into my systems, so they’re ‘leasing’ their hacked space".

Kalka concluded that since the business model for the hackers is expanding, it is important to stay ahead, and research and analytics in cyber security is key.