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FBI: Cyber-criminals targeting protected health information

Jaclyn Jaeger | March 28, 2017

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has issued a warning to the healthcare industry: Cyber-criminals are actively targeting protected health information.

In a notification issued March 22, the FBI said it is aware of criminal actors who are actively targeting File Transfer Protocol (FTP) servers—a protocol widely used to transfer data between network hosts—operating in “anonymous” mode and associated with medical and dental facilities to access protected health information (PHI) and personally identifiable information (PII) to intimidate, harass, and blackmail business owners.

Research conducted by the University of Michigan in 2015, “FTP: The Forgotten Cloud,” indicated that 1.1 million FTP servers were configured to allow anonymous access, potentially exposing sensitive data stored on the servers. The anonymous extension of FTP allows a user...

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