FBI: Healthcare companies vulnerable to cyber attack

BOSTON — The FBI has warned healthcare companies that hackers are targeting them and patient records, according to a flash alert the agency sent out earlier this week that Reuters first reported.

According to Reuters, the FBI warned that it had “observed malicious actors targeting healthcare related systems, perhaps for the purpose of obtaining Protected Healthcare Information (PHI) and/or Personally Identifiable Information (PII).”

The warning came two days after news outlets on Monday reported that Community Health had been the victim of a cyberattack in which hackers based in China acquired about 4.5 million patient records from the past five years, including birth dates, names, addresses and social security numbers.

"These actors have also been seen targeting multiple companies in the healthcare and medical device industry typically targeting valuable intellectual property, such as medical device and equipment development data," the FBI alert said.

Though Community Health Systems hasn’t provided much information about how it was attacked, the data that health care providers store has been a concern of the FBI’s since April, when the agency cautioned healthcare companies that the systems used across the industry might not have the security necessary to fend off cyberattacks.

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