Global Report on Medical Data Leak
It is published by Greenbone Sustainable Resilience, a German cybersecurity firm.
The first report was published in October 2019 in which Greenbone revealed a widespread data leak of a massive number of records, including images of CT scans, X-rays, MRIs and even pictures of the patients.
The follow-up report, which was published, classifies countries in the “good”, “bad” and “ugly” categories based on the action taken by their governments after the first report was made public.
India ranks second in the “ugly” category, after the U.S.
Highlights of the report
As per the follow-up report, Maharashtra ranks the highest in terms of the number of data troves available online, with 3,08,451 troves offering access to 6,97,89,685 images.
The next is Karnataka, with 1,82,865 data troves giving access to 1,37,31,001 images.
The number of data troves containing this sensitive data went up by a significant number in the Indian context a month after the initial report was published.
It is a notable fact for the systems located in India, that almost 100% of the studies (data troves) allow full access to related images stated the report.
What led to the leaks?
Greenbone’s original report says the leak was facilitated by the fact that the Picture Archiving and Communications Systems (PACS) servers, where these details are stored.
These servers are not secure and linked to the public Internet without any protection, making them easily accessible to malicious elements.
Impact of leaks
The leak is worrying because the affected patients can include anyone from the common working man to politicians and celebrities.
In image-driven fields like politics or entertainment, knowledge about certain ailments faced by people from these fields could deal a huge blow to their image.
The other concern is of fake identities being created using the details, which can be misused in any possible number of ways.