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[ISN] Medical Industry Under Attack By Chinese Hackers
By Kelly Jackson Higgins
March 14, 2013
Multiple gangs of Chinese cyberespionage hackers are now targeting the
healthcare and medical/life sciences industries.
Most every industry is fair game for cyberespionage these days, so it's no
surprise that the healthcare and medical industry would come up on the list,
but to date, it's been a field more abused by cybercriminals motivated by
medical identity theft and other financial fraud.
Rich Barger, chief intelligence officer with CyberSquared, says his firm can
confirm at least three advanced persistent threat (APT) groups out of China who
have targeted organizations in the medical field, including one group that
posed as a life sciences and drug discovery company out of Beijing to lure and
drop drive by malware on related companies from that industry; the second was
the group behind the well-known malware Sykipot used in various APT-type
attacks; and the third, the gang behind the VOHO targeted attack campaign--
which CyberSquared found targeting the National Institute of Health.
"Many of these victims have technology or drugs that are a monopoly. If you are
the first to market with some great new technology breakthrough or drug and you
get a profit from that research ... It would definitely be an issue for the
Chinese to target some of these" firms to gain a competitive advantage, Barger
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