Medical data of millions of Americans available online

Medical images and health data of millions of Americans, including x-rays, MRIs and CT scans, have been discovered on unsafe servers.

Records cover more than 5 million patients in the US. UU., As well as millions more worldwide and, in some cases, these images and private data can be seen by anyone with access to a web browser.

An investigation conducted by ProPublica and the German broadcaster Bayerischer Rundfunk identified 187 servers in the US. UU. They were not protected by passwords or basic security precautions. Unlike other recent high-profile data breaches, these records were stored on servers that lacked the security precautions that businesses and government agencies often use.

ProPublica discovered that the scope of exposure varies according to the health provider and the health service provider. medical record software they use. For example, the server of the American company MobilexUSA showed the names, dates of birth, doctors and procedures of more than one million patients and all this information could be accessed by entering a simple data query. Since then, the company has improved its security after being alerted by ProPublica.

Uninsured medical data

In total, medical data from more than 16 million scans worldwide were available online and these data included names, dates of birth and, in some cases, Social Security numbers.

However, pointing out the fault and the responsible party has been difficult for the experts. According to US law. UU., Health care providers and their business partners are legally responsible for ensuring the privacy of patient data. According to several experts, exposing patient data in the way these companies did could violate the Health Insurance Portability and Responsibility Act (HIPAA).

Fortunately, ProPublica found no evidence that exposed patient data were copied from these systems and published elsewhere, but still, the consequences of unauthorized access to this type of information could be devastating.

The nonprofit organization's investigation showed that large hospital chains and academic medical centers implemented the necessary security protections to protect their data. However, independent radiologists, medical imaging centers and archiving services were unable to protect the data that was in their care.

Via ProPublica

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