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Why UnitedHealth, Change Healthcare were targets of ransomware hackers

March 18, 2024
The recent ransomware attack on UnitedHealth's subsidiary, Change Healthcare, highlights the increasing threat to the U.S. health-care sector from cybercriminals. This breach, occurring over three weeks ago, has disrupted payments to thousands of healthcare providers, underscoring the data-rich sector's appeal to hackers and the devastating impact on patients and physicians. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has launched an investigation into the magnitude of this cyberattack, noting its unprecedented scale. The incident not only emphasizes the lucrative market for medical records on the dark web, selling for substantially more than other personal information, but also the sophistication and organizational structure of modern cybercrime operations. These operations, often functioning as ransomware-as-a-service, pose a formidable challenge to healthcare cybersecurity, urgently prompting a reevaluation of defense strategies and investment in data protection.
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