Expert: Getting hacked a matter of when, not if

Posted at 11:19 PM, Mar 28, 2016

Recent high profile hacks at hospitals across the country have cyber security experts warning not just companies, but individuals to be on high alert.

“This is scary,” said Stu Sjouwerman the founder and CEO of Knowbe4.  “This is why we do what we do.”

Sjouwerman said hospitals make easy targets because for cyber attacks because, “employees typically are not trained well enough to stop an attack.”

The FBI said it is investigating a computer virus that has forced a massive shutdown of a computer system of Medstar, a major hospital chain in the Baltimore-Washington area.

“The FBI is aware of the incident and is looking into the nature and scope of the matter,” the FBI Baltimore Field Office, which is the lead for the FBI on the investigation, said in a statement today.

MedStar Health’s IT system was affected by a virus early this morning that has prevented many users from logging into its system, according to MedStar.

“We are working with our IT and Cyber-security partners to fully assess and address the situation,” MedStar said in a statement.

MedStar said that there is no evidence of compromised information and that all facilities remained open, despite the shutdown.

“The organization has moved to back-up systems, paper transactions where necessary,” the company said.

There are actions you can take to protect your computer. Sjouwerman said if you see an attachment from an unknown sender, don't open it. If you think an e-mail is suspicious, don’t open it. Also, backup your computer weekly, or more if you put important files on it daily. Sjouwerman said use an external hard drive back up your files then remove the hard drive so an attack will not corrupt your backup.

“They hack into your network, they own your network, they delete your backups, and then they infect your files,” Sjouwerman said.

There have been 49 breaches of unsecured protected health information affecting 500 or more people so far in 2016, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which tracks the information. Eleven of those breaches were related to hacking incidents, the agency said.

The investigation into the MedStar virus is ongoing, according to the FBI.