The FBI and Department of Health and Human Services June 24 released an advisory about cyberthreat actors targeting health care organizations in attempts to steal payments. The agencies have recommended mitigation efforts to help reduce the likelihood of being impacted. Threat actors have been found to use phishing efforts to gain access to employees' email accounts, and then pivoting to target login information related to the processing of reimbursement payments to insurance companies, Medicare or similar entities, the agencies wrote. In some instances, threat actors would call an organization's information technology help desk posing as an employee of the organization to trigger a password reset for the employee's account. 
 
The AHA was initially made aware of this type of scheme in January, and HHS issued an advisory on similar threats in April

"The alert validates the ongoing and serious nature of this social engineering scheme as the AHA continues to receive similar reports from the field in regard to IT and human resources help desk social engineering schemes,” said John Riggi, AHA national advisor for cybersecurity and risk. “Bad actors use stolen employee personally identifiable information for password resets and enrolling new mobile devices to receive multi-factor authentication codes. In addition to the recommended mitigations, health care organizations may want to consider conducting social engineering tests of all help desk functions and instituting multi-person authentication for any change to organizational level payment instructions. Payers should also be made aware of this requirement as well. On a separate but important note, a reminder that as we approach the Fourth of July holiday, cyber adversaries have demonstrated a pattern of increased technical and social engineering targeting of health care during the holidays. Maintaining vigilance and staff cyber awareness is critical as we enjoy a safe holiday. "  
 
For more information on this or other cyber and risk issues contact Riggi at jriggi@aha.org. For the latest cyber and risk threat information and resources visit www.aha.org/cybersecurity

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