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Email scam attacks against healthcare targets see huge rise

(Image credit: Image source: Shutterstock/kpatyhka)

Healthcare has always been an industry of interestfor cybercriminals, but a new Proofpoint report argues that the criminals are taking their attacks to whole new levels.

The company's latest Healthcare Threat Report says that the number of imposter emails rose 300 per cent, compared to the same period last year. Imposter emails are exactly what you’d expect them to be – hackers pretending to be someone trustworthy, as they try to trick the victims into downloading malicious software or clicking a link to a malicious website.

Out of the targeted healthcare companies, almost all (95 per cent) said they saw emails which spoofed their own trusted domain, as they targeted both patients and business partners.

In their attacks, they’re using all the known strategies, preying mostly on the victim’s fear and ignorance. Most attacks have had the words “urgent” or “request” in their subject lines. On average, such emails spoof as many as 15 staff members within the healthcare industry. The attackers assume multiple identities to increase their chances of success, it was said.

Cybersecurity experts everywhere are urging employers, first and foremost, to educate their employees on the dangers of the online world, namely phishing. Humans are still the weakest link in the cybersecurity chain, and if organisations are to stay safe from potential ransomware attacks, they need to make sure their employees become extra vigilant when reading email.