OCR Alerts Protected Bodies of Danger of DDoS Attacks

Over the past few weeks, there has been a rise in Denial of Service (DOS) and Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) assaults. The assaults include inundating systems with requests and information to affect those systems to collapse. The attacks have led to big parts of the Internet taken off, email systems have stopped, as well as other computer equipment taken out off.

DDoS assaults on healthcare companies could avoid sick persons from reading web services like patient portals in an attack, however, they can also avoid healthcare workers from reading systems which are vital for healthcare tasks. Payroll systems, EHRs, or even software-based medical tools like MRIs and drug infusion pumps can possibly be made inoperative.

Not just do DDoS attacks avoid these systems from being read, they can also lead to considerable hardware impairment and the charge of repair can be substantial.

The level of the new attacks has been amazing. Whereas previous year, DDoS assaults of the magnitude of 300 Gbps, somewhat of an infrequency, this year we have observed attacks carried out well in addition to 600 Gbps. One French hosting firm recorded a DDoS assault of 1Tbps.

The assailants at the back of the latest DDoS assaults have taken benefit of bad safety checks on IoT (Internet of Things) appliances like the failure to alter default PINs. The appliances have been utilized to generate massive botnets – appliances contaminated with malevolent software which are utilized to inundate routines with stream of traffic.

The latest attacks have mainly utilized DVRs and surveillance cameras; but, any IoT device might be used and undermined by the assaults.

Now hospitals have several IoT appliances linked to their systems, which might all possibly be undermined and added to botnets as well as utilized for assaults on other companies, or for assaults on other systems utilized by hospitals.

The assaults are expected to carry on. Additionally, when more IoT appliances with weak safety controls are connected, the level of the assaults is expected to rise. Healthcare companies have been assaulted earlier and more attacks are expected.

This week, the Division of Health and Human Services’ OCR has communicated healthcare companies to increase consciousness of the danger and insisted to take measure to safeguard their systems from assault and to take measures to avoid their IoT appliances from being added up to botnets.

There are several actions that healthcare companies can take to safeguard their appliances – as well as their systems – from DDoS and DoS attacks.

Companies must carry out inspections of their systems for susceptible IoT appliances, constantly check for undermined appliances, apply safety areas quickly to tackle known weaknesses and modify all default PINs on every IoT appliance. Default PINs are easily found online or can be guessed.

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Mark Wilson

Mark Wilson is a news reporter specializing in information technology cyber security. Mark has contributed to leading publications and spoken at international forums with a focus on cybersecurity threats and the importance of data privacy. Mark is a computer science graduate.