A Billion Medical Images Exposed Online

7 - 14 January 2020

A hospital in California, US, was forced to reschedule some elective medical procedures following a ransomware attack on New Year’s Eve.

Hundreds of hospitals, medical offices and imaging centres are running insecure storage systems, allowing anyone with an internet connection to access over 1 billion medical images of patients across the world. Since September 2019, the volume of medical images exposed online has been increasing, brought about largely by a failure to secure the PACS (Picture Archiving and Communication System) server where medical images are stored. These images are saved as DICOM files, which can be viewed using free-to-download software. As DICOM images typically also contained protected health information such as medical diagnoses and personally identifiable information, such exposure can put patients at a greater risk of insurance fraud and identity theft.


A Billion Medical Images Are Exposed Online, As Doctors Ignore Warnings

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