Tags: Cybersecurity | Health Topics | medical | data | x-ray | ct scan | mri

Medical Data of Millions of Americans Online

a doctor speaks to the media with digital medical information up on a screen behind him
(John Bazemore/AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 17 September 2019 09:32 PM

The medical data and images of millions of Americans, including MRIs, X-Rays, and CT scans are available online, according to a report published by investigative news outlet ProPublica.

In some cases, social security numbers, names, and birthdates were also available.

ProPublica built upon findings from Greenbone Networks, a security firm based in Germany that identified problems in at least 52 countries. Dirk Schrader, an information security expert at Greenbone, found five servers in Germany and 187 in the United States that made patients' records available without a password.

Schrader determined that data from more than 13.7 million medical tests in the U.S. were available online.

"Medical records are one of the most important areas for privacy because they're so sensitive," Cooper Quintin, a security researcher and senior staff technologist with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital-rights group, told ProPublica. "Medical knowledge can be used against you in malicious ways: to shame people, to blackmail people.

"This is so utterly irresponsible."

The server of U.S. company MobilexUSA displayed the names of over one million patients. Some records included patients' dates of birth, procedures and doctors.

"We promptly mitigated the potential vulnerabilities identified by ProPublica and immediately began an ongoing, thorough investigation," MobilexUSA's parent company told ProPublica in a statement.

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MRIs, X-Rays, and CT scans are available online as is the medical data and images of millions of Americans, according ProPublica.
medical, data, x-ray, ct scan, mri, online, privacy, security
Tuesday, 17 September 2019 09:32 PM
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