In the hidden recesses of the Internet, millions of people’s medical records are up for sale to criminals. For John Kuhn, a routine visit to a hospital in Michigan turned into a $20,000 bill for surgery that he never actually received. Kuhn, who works as a senior threat researcher at IBM, later learned from the hospital that staff had lost a hard drive filled with patient data, including his own record. Kuhn eventually had to prove to the hospital that it was a case of identity theft by pulling up his shirt to show that he didn’t have any post-surgical […]

Medical Identity Theft on the Rise The clues are subtle but critical: Perhaps you get a bill for urgent care services you never received. Or upon reviewing your medical record through a patient portal, you see a diagnosis of back pain and multiple prescriptions for narcotic pain relievers. Though not definitive, chances are probable that you’ve been an unfortunate victim of medical identity theft due to a breach of your healthcare data. In the last two years, nearly 90 percent of HIPAA-covered healthcare entities have had a data breach, according to the Ponemon Institute’s “Sixth Annual Benchmark Study on Privacy […]

Protecting patients’ identities Medical identity theft: Part 1 Editor’s note: This is part one of a series about medical identity theft. Look for part two in August’s issue of Briefings on HIPAA. Privacy and security officers are sitting on a hoard of valuable data: medical identity information. Social Security numbers. Medicare, Medicaid, and other insurer numbers. Credit card and bank account information. This data can fetch a high price on the black market, and medical identity theft costs patients, providers, and insurers millions of dollars a year. The lure of medical identity information makes healthcare organizations an appealing target for […]

Hacker Takes Credit for Theft of Data on 655,000 Patients A hacker is reportedly selling on the dark web copies of databases stolen from three unidentified U.S. healthcare organizations containing data on 655,000 individuals for prices ranging from about $96,000 to $386,000 in bitcoin for each database. The hacker taking credit, who calls himself “thedarkoverlord,” is operating on the TheRealDeal dark web marketplace and is offering to sell “a unique one-off copy of each of the three databases,” according to dark net news reporting website DeepDot Web. Media website The Daily Dot, which says it examined TheRealDeal listings for the […]

Medical identity theft can be a nightmare for those unlucky enough to become victim to it. The repercussions of this theft can endanger your life at the time you need medical assistance the most. Stats reveal that well over two million Americans have become victims of this scourge. Medical identity theft refers to the theft of your personal information such as name, Social Security Number (SSN) or Medicare number in order to obtain medical services, purchase drugs, or submit fake billings to Medicare using your name. Medical identity theft has a number of far-reaching consequences for victims. For starters, it […]

Identity theft doesn’t just mean that thieves can rack up bills for things like clothes, food and gas; a stolen identity or credit card can also result in huge medical bills for services that you never received. Resolving these bills is a headache that may take months or even years. How does this kind of fraud happen? As is the case with other goods purchased using a stolen card or identity, it’s fairly easy for thieves to charge unauthorized medical services to you once your personal information has been compromised. This can happen in a variety of ways, including stolen […]

Medical identity theft has been compared to the wild west for hackers. The crime is largely new and uncharted territory and happens when someone steals an individual’s personal information to obtain health care. Medical Identity theft is a lot like credit card theft with one major difference. A victim can cancel a card and freeze their credit, but they can’t cancel their medical history. Especially in cases of a medical emergency, experts warn a compromised medical identity could be deadly. Important information like prescription medications, pre-existing conditions and allergies, all used by doctors to make determinations about an individual’s care, […]

Informed, empowered employees can be your best defense in shielding sensitive information When it comes to protecting your organization’s most sensitive data, it can be easy to focus on the role of technology. While technical controls are indeed essential, they by no means should be your only approach to ensuring data privacy. This is especially true when it comes to “visual” privacy, which is the protection of sensitive and private information shown on your display and paper form. Threats to visual privacy are plentiful as companies’ information has become more vulnerable than ever. For starters, employees more frequently use mobile […]

Medical identity theft and medical fraud are on the rise and you could be the main cause! COLUMBUS, GA (WXTX) In a February study by the Ponemon Institute – which conducts independent research on information security – 2.3 million adults had someone fraudulently using their personal health information for medical services in 2014. That’s up 21 percent from the year before. Think it can’t happen in Georgia or South Carolina? A woman in the Atlanta area of Kennesaw fell victim. She did not want to go on camera. She did tell the Wall Street Journal someone used her social security […]

One in six million people will become the victim of medical identity theft in the next five years. Bryan Laskin joined 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS’ Tom Durian to talk about ways to prevent becoming a victim of the largest growing form of identity theft. Click here to watch the newscast. April 16, 2016 by KSTP 5 News ABC