Cyber criminals are increasingly targeting health care payment processors to redirect payments intended for health care providers to accounts they control, costing victims millions of dollars, the FBI reported this week. The alert describes at least 68 attacks since June 2018 in which unknown cyber criminals used publicly available personally identifiable information and social engineering techniques to impersonate victims and access accounts; and recommends actions to help network defenders reduce the risk of compromise.

“This type of scheme, also commonly known as business email compromise (BEC), which uses a combination of email phishing and voice social engineering techniques, represents another potential area of third party risk that the nation’s hospitals and health systems face,” said John Riggi, AHA’s national advisor for cybersecurity and risk. “Employees should be sensitized to the various types of social engineering BEC techniques, and how publicly available and the social media information they post can be used by criminals in this scheme to steal funds. To help mitigate this threat, it is recommended that both hospitals and payment processors strictly require verbal authentication from at least two known parties before any payment instructions are changed.” 

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